Sun Devil Invitational
2018 — Tempe, AZ/US
David Basler Paradigm
POLICY PARADIGM FOR DAVID BASLER (Updated for 2019-20 season)
FORMER POLICY DEBATE COACH AT WEST DES MOINES VALLEY (IOWA)
A QUICK SUMMARY (if you are accessing this on your iPhone as the round is starting):
Speed is OK.
T, theory, Ks and K Affs OK
I do not require you to take prep time for sharing/sending speech docs.
Be kind to your opponents, your partner and the judge.
I will not be on Facebook during c/x.
"Clearly, some philosophies aren't for all people. And that's my new philosophy!" - Sally Brown, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, 2012
I BE ME. I have recently left coaching after having been a high school policy debate coach for the last eight years, mostly at West Des Moines Valley (2010-2015, 2016-2019) and also at Dowling Catholic (2015-16). I typically judge between 70-100 policy rounds a year. The last couple of years were unusual in that I did not judge as many rounds and did not judge at all at Glenbrooks, Harvard, Blake, etc. I try and stay familiar with the arguments run by top regional and national teams and with the content being put out by the top policy debate camps. Some good teams even pref me.
I was a successful CEDA debater in college, but I did have a wicked mullet so that could explain the success.
U BE U. What kind of arguments do I like? I enjoyed watching Michael Jordan the basketball player more than Michael Jordan the baseball player. I want to see you do what you do best. My preferences in regard to certain arguments should not matter. I try to come into each round with no position on what the voting issues should be, although I do still believe in negative presumption. I also believe you can still rock in America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB3kQZJ2aLw
F/WORK. When it comes to framework, I will listen to arguments in support of any position, but if neither team wins the framework debate I will default to the question on the ballot- "I believe the better debating was done by ..." I will reject framework in favor of a K aff when the affirmative team gives me the more persuasive reasons why having a plan text, defending the state, etc. is bad. I will vote against a K aff on framework when the negative team gives me the more persuasive reasons why not having a plan text, not defending the state, etc. is bad. I will vote for teams that do not have a plan text and I will also vote against them.
MAKE ME LAUGH, GET GOOD SPEAKS. I really enjoy creative arguments. I appreciate humor. I respect debaters who can speak both quickly and clearly. I used to love doing c/x and I still love hearing a good c/x. I like debaters with cool nicknames like "Q" or "DanBan." I also like the words "kitchenette" and "flume."
POLICY TEAMS. Heg good. Heg bad. The government reads your email, so they know how you really feel, but I am cool with whatever. Because I am kind of a political junkie I love a good politics disad but that doesn't mean your link chain can stink.
WHAT ABOUT THE K? Bring it. Some of my absolute favorite debates I have judged have been K debates. However, reading dense philosophical texts at 350 words per minute is not helpful to comprehension. You know what else is almost always not helpful to comprehension? Super long taglines that are impossible to flow and lengthy overviews. Do it on the line-by-line. I would say I have heard just about everything but I am most familiar with economic theory, identity arguments, and Ks of consumption, technology and consumerism. I am less familiar with psychoanalysis but will always vote for stuff I think is persuasive (which means you just need to make me understand it). I am not a teacher (I am a lawyer) so I am only "in the literature" as a former debate coach whose teams sometimes gravitated toward and read Ks and Affs with no plan text.
As I try not to intervene as a judge, I am not going to give you the benefit of everything I know about a particular philosopher, legal argument, theory argument or a particular policy option. You always need to explain your arguments.
PERFORMANCE/"PROJECT"/NON-TRADITIONAL TEAMS. Sure. It is your community. I like the idea that you get to write the rules. Dance, sing or drum like there is nobody watching. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItZyaOlrb7E
"I wanna go fast."- Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, 2006
SPEED. If you are clear, I will be able to flow you. However, though speaking quickly has become a community norm in policy debate, debate is still fundamentally about the quality of your oral advocacy and communication. I think it is my job as a judge to say who was winning when time expired. This means I will rarely call for cards unless there is a disagreement over what the card says or I don't know how else to decide the debate. As Big from Gonzaga says in his paradigm- "Making a decision after re-reading read evidence in a debate distances judges from the performance of the speech and increases the likelihood of interpretive hubris. I don’t think either of those things are desirable characteristics of a decision."
THEORY. I am sometimes fine with multiple conditional arguments, 50 state fiat, etc. I am sometimes not fine with it. Win offense to win your theory argument. Recall that it is harder for me to flow 8 points of theory than two pieces of tagged evidence and please slow down.Strategic use of theory is smart because it almost always takes more time to answer the argument than it does to make it, however, this also means I am going to cut the other team some slack in making their answers and evidence of actual in-round abuse is the easiest way to get me to vote on theory.
PREP. I do not require a team to use prep time to send their speech to the other team. Don't steal prep time while the other team is sending you their arguments. Also, if you still need to re-order all of your papers when you get up to the podium, you are still prepping.
"Gretchen, I'm sorry I laughed at you that time you got diarrhea at Barnes & Nobles." - Karen Smith, Mean Girls, 2004
MEAN PEOPLE SUCK. Even though I believe the sarcastic slow-clap to be an underutilized method of cross-ex, I expect you to be respectful and courteous to your opponents, your partner and to the judge. I can assure you that the best advocates out in the real world (whether they are trial attorneys, lobbyists, politicians, activists, writers, Comedy Central talk show hosts, etc.) understand the difference between vigorous disagreement in a debate forum and mutual respect and even admiration outside of that forum. I believe in a debate round we should all strive to disagree agreeably, and as soon as the round is over the disagreement should end. This is especially true given the divisive nature of modern day political rhetoric and/or many people's strong feelings about Taylor Swift.
It should also go without saying (but if it wasn't an issue I wouldn't be saying it) but you should not be touching or throwing things at anyone in the debate room. Always be mindful of the diversity of life experiences that debaters bring with them into the debate space and this includes, but is not limited to, an increased sensitivity to violence or violent imagery.
TECH OR TRUTH? If something is totally counter-intuitive and empirically false, telling me that (you have to speak the words) is probably enough to defeat an argument. However, I also like it when people take counter-intuitive positions and explain why they are true, even if our first instinct is to reject them. But yeah...try not to drop shtuff.
WELL DONE, YOUNG PADAWAN. I have nothing but respect for people who choose to use their free time developing their critical thinking skills and engaging in an academic exercise like debate. It will serve you well in life, whatever you choose to do, and this is why I place such a high value on the activity. I promise you I will do my best to be fair, constructive, encouraging and engaged. Hopefully that is all you would want from a judge. That and, during the winter, copious amounts of facial hair.
Tom Boroujeni Paradigm
-Last Updated on 09/13/2019
-Updated on 10/29/2018
Please add me to your email chain (If there is one): email@example.com
Please do not contact me for other schools' speech doc. Contact them directly. I have been contacted multiple times by different people asking me to share other team's speech doc. Why not contact them directly?
PLEASE READ THIS PART VERY CAREFULLY:
Novices: I am the strong proponent of the novice packet. Do what you will with this information.
Who am I?
I am the Director of Debate at California State University, Fresno. I started as a tradition policy debater and made the transition into K debate. I have respect for both camps and whatever is in between. I tell you what I tell all my students, only run arguments that you fully understand and can explain to the judge. I also believe that debaters should have a basic understanding of policy debate before venturing off into the critical realm but that is a decision you should hash out with your coaches. I understand the implications of that statement and I am willing to defend it if you want me to do so. There is not any particular argument that I will not vote for. However, you are responsible to persuade me.
Speech Time and Evidence Transfer:
Your prep time stops when you pull the memory stick out , send the email, or drop the document into Speechdrop. If you forget a card, your prep time will run until you give the other team the evidence. Stealing time will lead to severe reduction in speaker points. Speech time is non-negotiable (No 10 min constructions or extra rebuttal speech).
I am very sensitive to the quality of your cards. Things are getting out of hand with power tagging and out of context evidence. Section XVII. EVIDENCE POLICY of CEDA's constitution indicates:
-B. Competitors shall be prohibited from using fabricated or distorted evidence.
------1. "Evidence" is defined as material which is represented as published fact or opinion testimony and offered in support of a debater's claim.
------2. "Fabricated" evidence refers to the citing of a fact or opinion that is either from a source that is found to be non-existent or not contained in the original source of the material in question.
------3. "Distorted" evidence refers to the misrepresentation of the actual or implied content of factual or opinion evidence. Misrepresentations may include, but are not limited to, the following:
------------a. Quoting out of context: selecting text from an article in such a way that the claim made with the selected text is clearly inconsistent with the author's position as that position is manifest in the article, book, or other source from which the quotation is drawn, when that material is taken as a whole.
------------b. Internally omitting words from a quotation or adding words to a quotation in such a way that the meaning evident in the resulting modified quotation deviates substantially in quality, quantity, probability or degree of force from the author's position as manifest in the quotation in question prior to modification.
------------c. Internally omitting words from a quotation or adding words to a quotation without indicating, either on the written form of the quotation or orally when the quotation is delivered to an opponent or judge, that such a deletion or addition has been.
------4. Fabricated and distorted evidence are so defined without reference to whether or not the debater using it was the person responsible for originally misrepresenting it.
-C. Competitors shall allow their judges and opponents to examine the evidence on request, and provide on request sufficient documentation on the source of the evidence which would allow another person to locate the quotation in its original form.
-D. Adjudication Procedures for by-law XVII
Any challenge over tagline and content of the card is important to me. Make sure you know what your cards say and tag them properly.
This section used to say "I am comfortable with speed but if you have your 1AR analytical arguments pre-written and you are machine-gunning them at me, be sure that I will miss a couple on my flow and if it is not on my flow, I cannot make a decision on it. I will yell "Clear" if you are not."
But I had to change it. I don't feel comfortable with some of your speeds anymore. My ears do not process too high or too low pitch of voices. I will tell you to be "clear" or "louder". No matter who you are and what you are saying, I reserve the right to ask you to be more clear. ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY on analytical arguments. Analytical arguments are very important so If you want me to put them on the flow, please slow down.
I enjoy topicality debates because I have some legal background and one of my other jobs is trial and jury consulting. I argue (and defend) that at least half of the arguments in the legal field are topicality arguments.
How do I evaluate topicality you ask? As an Aff, you should be able to solidify a relationship to the topic or tell me why what you are talking about is so important that you felt the topic should be ignored. For me, the most important components of topicality are education and fairness in that order. OR why topicality is bad.
I put a very high value on this flow because it is about the activity itself. Framework tells me how I should be looking at the debate. Part of wining the framework flow is how you win through your lens. Absent the explanation of how you win, I probably vote against you because I think you don't know how you are winning and if you don't know why you should win through the lens you are advocating for then you have no business running framework.
Love them. I think most negative arguments are modified DAs. You can run a DA on anything that advocates for an alternative (i.e., Case, CP, and K). Explain the scenario of the DA to me. You also need to win that the DA outweighs the Plan or the Alt (or part of it).
Counter Plan is a way of solving one or more of the affirmative's advantages AND offering a Net benefit. The perm must be dealt with adequately.
Like them and will vote for them. My threshold of acceptance for your explanation is higher because I think Ks do not have argumentative breath so they need to satisfy the depth. That depth requires a lot of work. So do the work for me because I will not do it for you. Make sure you link to the case. If you are have a link of omission, then you probably should have a root-cause claim or some other sort of explanation.
You need to solidify and explain your links. Impact analysis is important to me.
It is YOUR responsibility to persuade me and not my responsibility to understand your argument. Unnecessary yelling and fighting in the round will lead to severely reduced speaker points unless it is your argument that yelling and fighting is good (In that case it would not be unnecessary).
I think respect for the judge's RFD is very important. I see the debate in a particular way and judge it based on that view. If you do not like that lens then you probably should have done a better job of telling me what lens I should use and why that is a good lens (See Framework above). You do not have to pref me if you do not think I am capable of judging your debates, but if you do, respect my RFD. Do not make any sort of assumptions about my judging style. I do not vote for a particular style of debate, a particular school, or a particular team. I vote for the team that does a better job of arguing. I do not care if you are a first round or a novice debater, if you make the better argument you are going to win my ballot. If you do not respect my opinion as a judge then you should probably put me at the bottom of your pref sheet (strike me).
Role of the ballots that are self serving are bad. I think role of the ballot is always to indicate who has done the better debating. I rarely find role of the ballots persuasive.
Peter Chotras Paradigm
October 2017 Update:
I don't judge debates very often anymore, so I may not be familiar with certain topic-specific acronyms. I will not be offended if you want to ask me about my familiarity with certain acronyms before or during a debate. Also, a note relating to the 2017-2018 NDT/CEDA Topic: I do work for a health insurance company, so do with that information what you will.
(Updated January 2015)
LD at Horizon High School, 2007-2011 (Susan Seep)
Policy at ASU, 2011-2015 (Adam Symonds, Izak Dunn, Em Parker)
Assistant Debate Coach at Tempe Prep, 2011-2015
- I think it’s very important to be courteous and respectful in a debate round. To paraphrase my high school debate coach, Susan Seep: I have a lot a respect for this activity, and I expect you to show respect for the activity. The way I think you show respect for the activity is by respecting each other.
- I also think it's my role as a judge to respect the debaters by taking their positions and arguments seriously by devoting my whole attention to them. For that reason, I've started a new experiment where I flow CXs. CX isn't a speech, so debaters aren't responsible for responding to it; however, it is binding, so I'll hold teams to CX answers that I have written down.
- Extending an argument means extending a claim, warrant, and impact.
- If you debate paperless, you need to have a viewing laptop for your opponent(s).
- I probably won't be familiar certain abbreviations or topic-specific jargon.
- Flex prep and tag-team CX are OK
- There is such a thing as zero-risk of an argument. I am persuaded by alternatives to the offense/defense paradigm
- Debate should be fun. Do what you enjoy, and try to learn something
I think the aff should be able to weigh the impacts of the plan against the kritik, but will vote for framework arguments advanced by the neg about why the aff shouldn’t get to weigh its impacts or why weighing those impacts is illogical.
For the aff, it’s an uphill battle to win that the K should be excluded from debate, but substantive arguments about the necessity of political engagement are persuasive arguments for why the alt can’t solve/net benefit to the perm.
The aff will have more leverage against the kritik defending whatever the negative criticizes instead of saying why those things don't matter (e.g., instead of saying "ontology doesn't come first," defend the ontology behind the scholarship in the 1AC).
I don’t like Floating PIKs and am also sympathetic to certain theoretical objections to different types of alternatives (e.g. reject alts or vague alts) - usually, these are not reasons to reject the alternative, but they do give the aff some leeway on the severance/intrinsicness arguments the neg makes against the permutation.
I have been on both sides of the framework debate, so I wouldn't say that I have a heavy bias in either direction in terms of framework yes/no, but I do have some biases on particular arguments.
Neg arguments are more persuasive when they are substantive, not theoretical (although if the aff isn't germane to the topic/is in the opposite direction of the topic/doesn't defend anything, I'll find your theoretical objections more persuasive). Arguments about engagement being a better political strategy, or ontological defenses of engaging institutions will get you a lot of leverage. Theoretical arguments should both explain why the aff is bad for debate and why the framework interpretation is good for debate.
Arguments requiring the aff to have an advocacy statement usually aren't persuasive, unless the aff seems like it could justify aff conditionality (or it's not clear what the aff defends after the 1AC or CX of the 1AC). Often, I would just prefer that you go for framework instead.
The argument "no plan, no perm" has never made sense to me and seems like a terrible standard for competition. I tend to believe the negative has the burden of rejoinder, and the perm is the aff's enforcement mechanism for that. If the neg wants to make this argument against a planless aff when going for the K, it would be in their best interest to present a reasonable theory of competition that allows the aff to use the perm as a check against neg positions that are not at all related to the aff. I would prefer that a neg going for the K against a planless aff grounds its competition argument in a philosophical disagreement with the aff (incompatible ontological claims, for example), a trade-off argument, or a performative DA to the aff.
I lean Aff on most counterplan theory (e.g., Object Fiat, Consult, Word PICs, International Actor, Multi-Actor, 50 States, Agent, Conditions - in roughly that order), with the exception of conditionality. I am also more willing to deviate from the offense/defense paradigm the more illegitimate I believe your counterplan is, assuming the aff has advanced a theoretical objection (especially if the net benefit is not topic specific). For example, if the neg wins that an agent counterplan solves ~100% of the aff and is barely ahead on a generic politics DA, I'd probably vote aff, whereas, all other things being equal, if the negative has a nuanced, topic-specific counterplan with a more topic specifc net benefit, I'd probably vote neg (NOTE - that doesn't mean that I'm committed to offense/defense - although it does become more persuasive when there's a counterplan in the debate).
I'll reward debaters who slow down on counterplan texts in the 1NC, especially if it's multi-plank or complicated in some other way
I will not kick the counterplan for the negative, unless explicitly told so (either in the 2NR, or at some point during CX if the aff asks the status of the advocacies). Additionally, if the neg wants me to kick the counterplan for them, they should spend some (not necessarily a lot of) time comparing the SQUO with the aff (this can be a cross-application of a lot of net benefit outweighs analysis from earlier). If the neg doesn't tell me to kick the counterplan in the 2NR, presumption flips aff.
Try to stick to the line-by-line instead of grouping “the uniqueness debate,” or “the link debate,” when you’re extending the DA in the block. The better the line-by-line in the block, the less leeway I will give to the 1AR (and worse line-by-line = more 1AR leeway).
A bad disad can easily be beaten by smart, developed analytic arguments. The aff does not need offense to beat a disad, especially when there's not a counterplan in the debate
I think it’s strategic to spend a lot of the 1NC on case. It puts a big time crunch on the 2AC, and makes it easier for you to weigh the impacts of your off-case arguments against the Affirmative.
Good, smart analytics can beat a bad advantage, and I am willing to vote negative on presumption.
I love Topicality and am disappointed that judges aren't more willing to vote for it. I would prefer that you go at about 75% of your top speed, especially on the standards debate
My default is competing interpretations. I also think that T is about what you justify, and potential abuse is a voter. This doesn't mean that I don't find aff reasonability arguments un-persuasive, but that they should be reworded in the rhetoric of competing interpretations (e.g. instead of saying "competing interpretations is an arbitary race-to-the-bottom," I'm more persuaded when someone says "arbitrary interpretations are unpredictable, which precludes effective clash over the topic, even if they're winning their limits/ground arguments"). That being said, if you are making a reasonability argument (and these are fine and good to make in the 2AC), tell me what it means for how I should evaluate the debate (e.g. "if there's a negligible difference between the interpretation and the counter-interpretation, vote aff"). In-round abuse and topical versions of the aff are good but not necessary.
Plan text in a vacuum is not a persuasive aff argument for me - I am persuaded by negative arguments that it leads to aff conditionality and doubles the number of arguments the negative has to win in the 2NR if they want to prove counterplan competition.
I prefer that specification arguments have reasons to prefer that are related to the topic over a generic "90% of policy is implementation" card
Please go at about 75% of your top speed. I’ll listen to any theory argument with a clear interpretation and impacts.
I default to reject the argument not the team for all theory arguments except conditionality. Even if the other team does not say, “reject the argument not the team,” I will probably just reject the argument absent an argument from the debaters why that isn’t sufficient.
Deven Cooper Paradigm
High school debate: Baltimore Urban Debate League
College debate: Univ of Louisville then Towson Univ
Grad work: Cal State Fullerton
Current: Director of Debate at Long Beach State (CSULB)
29.5-30: one of the best speakers I expect to see this year and has a high grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and Swag is on 100.
29.1 - 29.5: very good speaker has a middle grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and mid-range swag.
29: quite good speaker; low range of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and mid-range swag.
28.4 - 28.9: good speaker; may have some above average range/ parts of the C.U.N.T.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out.
28 - 28.3: solid speaker; needs some work; probably has average range/ parts of the C.U.N.T.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out.
27.1 - 27.5: okay speaker; needs significant work on the C.U.N.T.S acronym.
< 27: you have done something deeply problematic in this debate like clipping cards or violence.
I am willing to hear any arguments that are well explained and impacted and relate to how your strategy is going to produce scholarship or policy action. I will refer to an educator framework unless told otherwise..This means I will evaluate the round based on how you tell me you want it to be framed and I will offer comments on how you could make your argument better after the round. Comparison, Framing, OFFENSE is key for me.
I avoid the privileging of certain teams or styles over others because that makes debate more unfair, uneducational, and makes people not feel valued or wanted in this community.
I judge debates according to the systematic connection of arguments rather than solely line by line…BUT doesn’t mean if the other team drops turns or other arguments that I won’t evaluate that. They must be impacted and explained. PLEASE always point out reason why the opposing team is bad and have contextualized reasons for why they have created a bad impact. I DO vote on framework and theory arguments….I’ve been known to vote on Condo
Don’t try to adapt to how I used to debate if you genuinely don’t believe in doing so or just want to win a ballot. If you are doing a performance I will hold you to the level that it is practiced, you have a reason for doing so, and relates to the overall argument you are making…Don’t think “oh! I did a performance in front of Deven I win.” You are sadly mistaken if so.
Overall I would like to see a good debate where people are confident in their arguments and feel comfortable being themselves and arguing how they feel is best. I am not here to exclude you or make you fell worthless or that you are a "lazy" intellectual as some debaters may call others, but I do like to see you defend your side to the best of your ability
A few issues that should be clarified:
Paperless: Prep time ends when the flash is out of your computer. Any malfunctioning means your prep has begun again. If the opponent you are facing doesn't have a laptop you must have a viewing one or give up yours....do not be classist GOSH...
Framework and Theory: I love smart arguments in this area. I am not inclined to just vote on debate will be destroyed or traditional framework will lead to genocide unless explained very well and impacted. There must be a concrete connection to the impacts articulated on these and most be weighed. I will not vote on conditionality good alone…You better point out the contradictions in the 2AC/1AR. I am persuaded by the deliberation arguments and topical version of the Aff.
Performance: It must be linked to an argument that is able to defend the performance and be able to explain the overall impact on debate or the world itself. Please don’t do a performance to just do it…you MUST have a purpose and connect it to arguments. Plus debate is a place of politics and args about debate are not absent politics sometimes they are even a pre-req to “real” politics, but I can be persuaded otherwise. You must have a role of the ballot or framework to defend yourself or on the other side say why the role of the ballot is bad. I also think those critics who believe this style of debate is anti-intellectual or not political are oversimplifying the nuance of each team that does performance. Take your role as an educator and stop being an intellectual coward.
Topic/Resolution: I will vote on reasons why or why not to go by the topic...unlike some closed minded judges who are detached from the reality that the topics chosen may not allow for one to embrace their subjectivity or social location. This doesn’t mean I think talking about puppies and candy should win, for those who dumb down debate in their framework args in that way. You should have a concrete and material basis why you chose not to engage the topic and linked to some affirmation against racism/sexism/homophobia/classism/elitism/white supremacy and produces politics that are progressive.
High Theory K: i.e Hiediggar, Zizek, D&G, Butler, Arant, and their colleagues…this must be explained to me in a way that can make some material sense to me as in a clear link to what the aff has done or an explanation of the resolution…I feel that a lot of times teams that do these types of arguments assume a world of abstract that doesn’t relate fully to how to address the needs of the oppressed that isn’t a privileged one. However, I do enjoy Nietzsche args that are well explained and contextualized. Offense is key with running these args and answering them.
Disadvantages: I’m cool with them just be well explained and have a link/link wall that can paint the story…you can get away with a generic link with me if you run politics disads. Disads on case should be impacted and have a clear link to what the aff has done to create/perpetuate the disad. If you are a K team and you kick the alt that solves for the disads…that is problematic for me.
Counterplans: They have to solve at least part of the case and address some of the fundamental issues dealing with the aff’s advantages especially if it’s a performance or critical aff…I’m cool with perm theory with a voter attached.
Race/ Identity arguments: LOVE these especially from the black/Lantinx perspective, but this doesn’t mean you will win just because you run them like that. I like to see the linkage between what the aff does wrong or what the aff has perpetuated. I’m NOT likely to vote on a link of omission.
Case Args: Only go for case turns…they are the best and are offensive , however case defense may work. If you run a K or performance you need to have some interaction with the aff to say why it is bad.
Kiran Dhillon Paradigm
Director of Debate & Forensics at the University of Southern California
Past Debate Experience:
- Coached at the University of Northern Iowa
- Coached at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts
- Debated at the University of Iowa
- Throwback to debating at Celebration High School in Celebration, FL
Here are my initial thoughts on common questions:
Speed: Is fine so long as you are clear. Clarity is the most important thing.
Cross-X: Open is fine.
Decorum: Be kind and respectful to one another.
Fairness: Don’t cheat. My three pet-peeves are when folks steal prep, don’t mark their cards, and clip cards. My advice is don’t steal prep and mark your cards on whatever you are reading from, may it be paper or your laptop.
Argument issues: Topicality – I’ll vote on it and against it. It is the obligation of the debaters to tell me why topicality matters, why their interpretation is best for debate, and what cases their interpretation allows for and does not allow for.
Disads – Sure, read them.
Counterplans – Fine too.
Kritiks – Explain your link story. Now, I don’t mean a generic link story but explaining, in detail, how the aff’s discourse and framing are bad. In addition, if you claim to have an alternative tell me what it does and how it functions. It is not enough to say, “Reject the aff and vote for the revolution.”
Overall, tell me how I should evaluate the arguments in the round. After all, debate is an activity based on persuasion.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Other than that, have fun debating!
Izak Dunn Paradigm
I feel that a new tabbing website calls for a new judge philosophy. That, and my other one was about to start kindergarten, so...
Some things have changed, some things have stayed the same. Looking back on my old philosophy, I could tell that it was the scribbles of youth and over-exuberance. There were many foundations that I would have liked to shake with that little document, but it is a rare occurance that anything written changes anything acted. And such a poorly written little document at that!
Some things you should know about me: I'm a philosophy guy. I've done all of my formal academic training in philosophy and the history of philosophy, and debate plus a few classes on the side are all I have in communications studies training. I tend to think that fact-value and fact-theory distinctions are bogus in practice but conceptually useful. So, for example, against an "ontology comes first" argument, I would much rather hear a defense of your ontology rather than an argument about why ontological questioning should subside in the face of mass death. Despite all this, I am a believer in the incommensurability of theories (paradigms?), so make your comparisons relevant--I'm a big sucker for elegance on this front.
I'm not big on offense-defense, especially on debate theory arguments. Thus I'm not particularly happy when someone banks a debate on "any risk of a _____" impact calculi. I'll vote on we-meets, too. Even worse than this quirk in the way I evaluate the logos of your claims is the fact that I'll let the ethos and pathos of your speeches play into my decision. I will let myself be "persuaded" by arguments, and though this sounds unfair, I think it is better that I am up-front about it rather than in denial. As much as anyone tries to exclude them, these factors play a role in every decision.
I no longer default to flowing you in paragraphs in Word. I used to do this because I thought that it would help me see through the way that the line-by-line obfuscates larger narratives and commitments in the debate round. Not a lot of people do the line by line effectively anymore, and I feel that this obscures larger issues in a debate round in a more fundamental way (bad line by line outweighs dangers of line by line-centrism). So now I'm out to help you figure out how to make the line by line work for you.
I will time your prep until the flash drive is out of your computer.
I will not disclose my decision until you update your wiki.
Without getting into too many specifics, I think that this pretty much covers what might make me different from the majority image of a policy debate critic. I would much rather discuss concerns or questions you have about the way I'll evaluate debates with you in person, so please feel free to approach me or email me questions.
New Pet Peeve (10/14/2012)
2ac says various things about the alternative throughout their speech. In the block, you say "Now onto the Alternative debate" and just say a bunch of stuff about the alternative. "Embedding" clash is not an excuse to forego comparison between arguments, and not going to the line by line is not license to not talk about your opponent's arguments. If this is your style of debate, you'd better make sure you are EXTENDING arguments (i.e., comparing them, arguing for them, deploying and employing them) as opposed to REPEATING the constructive that happened before you spoke.
If you do this in front of me, I'm going to set a very high bar for your speaker points. If you do not actually embed clash, you will not receive more than 27 points from me.
Not all of you are ready to "do" embedded clash. In fact, you've got to be pretty good at making discriminations about the line by line before you can decide on what does and does not count as a responsible or responive argument--in a way, it's a prerequisite to doing competent embedded clash.
Point Inflation Adjustment (11/8/2013)
After reading a lot about speaker points this year, I realize that I am way behind the times regarding point inflation. When I was a debater, "competent and winning" was a fast way to get a 27.5, which wasn't bad (wasn't great, but wasn't bad either). If I were "competent and losing", I usually got a 27 or a 27.5. Speaker points describing incompetence lived around 27 and below.
My scale to date has pegged "competent and winning" at a 28. This, of course, is just a baseline--I've definitely given points higher than a 28 to all four debaters in a round. But, as long as you aren't vomiting on yourself during your speeches and are making good enough strategic decisions to win the debate, I'll give you a 28.
It seems like I need to bump my points about half a point overall considering 5-3 teams are averaging about a 28.5. I'm going to try and give "competent and winning" a 28.5 starting at Wake, if only to prevent teams from preffing me in all of my educational glory from being unfairly penalized by my miserly nature.
Point Inflation Update (11/12/2013)
Two edits: (1) For Wake, I'll use their speaker point scale. It already seems pretty close to my inflation adjustment. (2) After Wake, I'm going to try and give "competent and winning" a 28.3. Seems to capture what teams that are winning just over half of their debates are averaging in 2013. Also, I used to have to work hard for my 28.5's and am besieged on all sides by a burning and childish need to feel better than all of you.
Doug Fraleigh Paradigm
Please add me to your email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Forensics, Fresno State. Competed in policy debate for four years for Sacramento State and coached policy at UC Berkeley, Sacramento State, Cornell, and Fresno State. Returned to coaching and judging in fall 2018 after serving as our department’s undergraduate advisor and chair, judged at ASU, SF State, San Diego State, UNLV, Northridge, USC, and Fullerton on this topic.
What Should You Know About How I Judge?
1. Run the arguments you run best, whether critical or policy. It is more important to me that you be clear (with your alt, your plan, your CP, your FW arguments, etc.) than follow any particular model of debate. If your arguments are vague or only become apparent in rebuttals, you are less likely to persuade me.
2. I am a flow-centric judge and the line-by-line debate is important to my decision.
3. I may not be persuaded by a very minimally developed argument (e.g. “T is an RVI, fairness”) even when it is dropped. However, I have a relatively low threshold for how much detail you need when extending an argument that was not answered. If the 1NC runs six off case positions and no case arguments, 2AC can safely spend a minute extending case (no need for detailed overviews) and focus on answering the off case.
4. My speaker points are mostly in the 28s-- low 28s for solid debating, mid 28s for good debating, and high 28s for very good debating, 29s for excellent debating. The considerations below are primary factors for me when assigning points.
What Can You Do to Earn Speaker Points?
1. Clash with your opponents’ arguments is essential. I am very impressed when debaters make on point answers and less impressed when the round looks like competing persuasive speeches. Debaters who extend arguments (explain why their arguments prevail on contested issues) earn top-tier points.
2. The quality of your evidence is very important. I look to the content, the match between content and tag, and credibility of your authors. I appreciate debaters who continue to research throughout the season. It is a plus when policy evidence accounts for recent events (e.g. Democratic House and Mattis resignation) and critical debaters incorporate recent literature.
3. Organization is very important. Be very clear and signpost where you are on the flow as you move through the debate. The more precise you are on the flow, the better. For example, instead of just saying you are on “case” or “the K” and mashing all your arguments together, identify the part of the argument you are on. (For example, “on the China scenario, three responses,” “go to framework,” or “now I’m on the alt.” If I am trying to figure out where you are, I am wasting cognitive resources that could be better spent listening to your argument.
4. Good delivery is a plus. Regardless of how fast you are going, it is important to enunciate well. This is especially important for analytics (and really/really important for analytics you plan to use in 2NR/2AR). I can follow the evidence on your speech doc, but don’t have this option when you are creating arguments on the fly. It is also a good idea to slow down a bit on the most essential arguments in 2NR/2AR, e.g. when you are advocating for how I should put the round together.
5. Be enthusiastic about your arguments, but when interacting with others in the round, err on the side of chill. The chance to travel with your squad, debate with your partner, and compete against other colleges is a privilege; enjoy the journey.
1. Tag-team cross-x is all right. When speakers are prompted by their partner, the speaker needs to follow up by making the argument and that is what I will flow. I listen carefully to cross-x and promise not to check real or fantasy sports scores until prep time starts.
2. I do not want to adjudicate what happened before the round started.
1. For me, the round usually comes down to case vs. disads and counterplans. It is often a good negative strategy to refute case (even with analytics), rather than concede a case with massive impacts. However, I rarely give aff 0% risk of any advantage and am unlikely to vote on presumption alone in the absence of any offense. The same principles apply to disads; it is strategic to minimize the links and impacts, but I rarely give neg 0% risk. I can be persuaded that other more probable arguments, such as lives saved or human rights protected, outweigh an infinitesimal risk of nuclear war. I like the debaters to argue for how I should balance the arguments, but in the absence of such arguments (or if the explanation is very limited), then it is up to me to put the round together.
2. On T, neg is most likely to win when they do a really good job explaining and defending their standards (blips not helpful here if you are seriously considering going for T in 2NR), and explaining how their definitions meet the standards for T better than their opponents’ do. If the T debate is close, I generally vote aff.
3. No preference for or bias against any particular counterplan. The domain of neg’s fiat power on CPs is up for debate. Both counterplan text and permutations should be clear.
1. Critical Affs. For critical affs, a key argument for me is the rationale for debating about the K rather than debating about a plan that purports to be topical. What is the opportunity cost of having a policy debate instead? I am open to a wide variety of arguments by both sides to address this question. A second important consideration is your vision of what the round should look like.
2. Critical Negs vs Policy Cases. The link to the aff should be clear. If the link is based on evidence (especially multi-page evidence), specify where in the evidence you are getting the link. I am most likely to be persuaded by a clear and specific alt that is developed in the 1NC. If you are not using a link/impact/alt format, explain your model for what the debate should look like.
3. K vs K Debates. I look to the debaters to make arguments about how the round should be judged.
I can be persuaded to vote for a performance. A performance can be rhetorical (or is always rhetorical, depending on your definition of rhetoric). However, I need to understand what arguments are being made by your performance and why you are saying these arguments warrant a decision for your side. It should also be apparent to your opponents. Don’t be subtle when explaining this.
Matt Gomez Paradigm
Graduate Assistant @ UNLV
Assistant Coach @ Rowland Hall St Marks
Please include me in the email chains: email@example.com
Hot take: The s is silent in debris.
I'll be honest. I really really really hate judging psychoanalysis. I would prefer not to judge these arguments. That being said, I'll still just evaluate the line-by-line....but just my preference
---Write the ballot in the 2NR/2AR
---The most reasonable argument usually wins in an equally debated round
---Risk is a sliding scale and arguments should be couched probabilistically since most of this isn't objective
---I prefer engagement over tricks. This applies in clash debates, k v k rounds, or policy throw downs. Speaker points will be higher in debates where you engage.
---Not interested in constant shifting explanations and dodging in cross-ex. Confident and direct answers show that you understand the weakness of your argument and are prepared to defend it.
---I generally lean neg on theory
---Affs can be vague in their plan but it makes circumvention and Say No harder to answer
---I will not give up my ballot to someone else. I will not evaluate arguments about actions taken when I was not in the room or from previous rounds. I will not vote for arguments about debaters as people. I will always evaluate the debate based on the arguments made during the round and which team did the better debating. Teams asking me not to flow or wanting to play video games, or any other thing that is not debate are advised to strike me. If it is unclear what "is not debate" means, strike me.
---Speech times are set. So is cross-ex and prep.
T vs Plans
Generally: Interps and definitions really matter. You need to counter-define words. Probably default to competing interps but I'm ok for reasonability combined with functional limits and indicts of neg evidence. But generally, aff's should be worried in front of me if they don't think their plan is T and negs shouldn't be afraid of going for T if they have good evidence. This is a big topic and I will have little sympathy for teams trying to make it even bigger.
An ESR counterplan that has the executive branch establish a policy is a core negative position that challenges the necessity of statutory and/or judicial restrictions on executive authority. An ESR CP that fiats Trump is intelligent or decides to resign or some other thing that is not necessarily an opportunity cost to statutory/judicial restrictions on executive authority are more questionable (though I lean neg on theory)
States is competitive (replace with ESR for college topic). Consult is most likely not. I'm not stoked about counterplans that do all of the aff but am a fan of smart PIC strategies. Textual vs Functional competition...both are probably good and each has its time and place... I still do not fully understand competition. If the aff has real solvency deficits they can make, I'm likely to not vote on theory.
I will kick counterplans for the neg IF the 2NR invokes the option. It is unlikely that I will care about new 2AR args for why thats difficult to answer if the 1AR didn't extend conditionality.
For God's sake please read impact defense
A DA is comprised of UQ, Link, Internal Link, and Impact arguments. I am not pleased with the recent trend that UQ is an argument for the block...
I'm willing to allow the 1AR to read cards based on 2AC analytics that actually have warrants.
---ok: No impact to proliferation---every empirical example like North Korea, India, and Pakistan disprove.
---not ok: No impact to prolif---empirics
Its arbitrary, but one is clearly a more complete argument than the other. Not saying I won't let the 1AR read a card in the 2nd instance, but you are much more likely to lose if the negative says that wasnt a complete arg in the 2AC and 1AR doesn't get to complete it.
Turns case arguments matter a lot to me. Make them and answer them. I can vote aff on a good risk of an advantage combined with a solid impact defense and internal link defense push. But I can also check out on turns case even if there is a large risk of the aff.
Policy Aff vs K
Totally open to it. These were my favorite debates as a 2A and offer some great opportunity for a smaller but more in-depth debate.
Affirmative teams should make sure to pre-empt the blocks attempt to not let them weigh the aff. Make impact framing arguments. And either no link or impact turn links. But the best focus is usually on the alternative. Most important, don't back down. Defend that things that matter actually do matter. Don't be the person who loses on "death good" or can't even answer the question "what is death." Think about why incremental progress matters, have a defense of it, and beat the ontology arguments. I find the most successful affirmative strategy is one that goes through the checklist of things every 2A needs to do against a K but also genuinely tries to understand the K and logically dismantles it/proves that is not the way the world works.
Negative teams are advised to generate links to the plan action. You can functionally disregard aff framework arguments if you do this because it proves the plan is a bad idea. If your strategy is to win links to discourse, epistemology, other "ologies" or things that are not the plan, the 2NC is advised to invest a substantial amount of time on framework. A well-devised framework argument, diverse links, impact framing arguments, and a decent alternative make for an extremely difficult 1AR. Combined with case defense and it becomes even harder. If you are feeling ambitious and can do both in the 2NC and have a DA in the 1NR, even better for neg flex.
---I generally find ways to think myself into believing structural/identity Ks do prove the aff is a bad idea if the negative wins their theory of power and am unlikely to vote on "plan action or gtfo" FW. The power of that arg is I have to weigh implications of the link vs implications of the plan, NOT that I throw out the K entirely.
I don't understand the trend of 1NR's "taking the perm" when the 2NC does the link debate. They are functionally the same and it doesn't take that much longer to put it in the 2NC and place some lower arguments into the 1NR to avoid messing up my flow.
The fiat double-bind is fundamentally unpersuasive. I do not enjoy K's that argue death isn't real/ is good.
K vs K
I've debated post-modernism and materialism. I read a lot. I watch a lot of different styles of debate. That being said, I very rarely participated in these debates. It will be important to identify points of disagreement and offense. For the aff, its important to identify actual link turns. Saying "the plan is anti-capitalist" is not a link turn or an answer to the link. Plenty of movements that didn't like capitalism ended up operating in a way that was beneficial to it.
Please say the alternative doesn't solve. And say the alternative does solve.
Please say root cause. And answer root cause.
Pick and choose links and consolidate as the round goes on.
Permutations need to explain why they solve the links and the negative needs to apply links to the permutation as well as the plan.
K vs T
I entirely believe debate is a game. I will vote otherwise if the argument presented as to why it is not a game or should be evaluated as something else is won by the affirmative, and that is because I believe it is a game... This can be an uphill battle if the affirmative does not present an alternate model for debate that has a well-conceived role for both the affirmative and negative and is able to weigh the benefits of that model against the negative's. It is easy to say what you are against, harder to say what you are for.
I do not have a preference for fairness or education (also called advocacy skills, mechanism education, etc.), but i do think the negative can persuasively argue that fairness is an impact in and of itself. Affirmative's must win that their educational benefits outweigh the negative's or that the cost of unfairness is worth the positive benefits of their model of debate.
I do not believe T is a weapon to exclude. I think it is an argument like any other and a core negative check against untopical affs (the states counterplan of clash debates). I believe that negative's who are overly rude, dismissive, or offensive in how they deploy T can lose to exclusion offense. Conduct yourself accordingly.
Topical version of the aff and Switch Side Debate are counterplans meant to prove the affirmative could access a large swathe of their literature base/education offense under the "traditional" model of debate. The negative should try to solve as much of the case as possible or prove that the TVA debates are better than the aff as is. The affirmative should argue that those debates are not educational, bad for their education, etc.
As always, these debates will become hyperbolic. That's fine. But when I vote on the silly hyperbole one team makes against the silly hyperbole the other team makes, that is just because it is what I was given to work with.
LaToya Green Paradigm
If it matters to you, I used to make critical and performance based arguments. I have coached all types. I generally like all arguments, especially ones that come with claims, warrants, and are supported by evidence.
Do you (literally, WHATEVER you do). Be great. Say smart things. Give solid speeches and perform effectively in CX. Win and go as hard as it takes (but you dont have to be exessively rude or mean to do this part). Enjoy yourself. Give me examples and material applications to better understand your position. Hear me out when the decision is in. Dassit.
Add me to the email chain- firstname.lastname@example.org
My "high" speaker points typically cap out around 28.7/28.8 (in open debate). If you earn that, you have delivered a solid and confident constructive, asked and answered questions persuasively, and effectively narrowed the debate to the most compelling reasons you are winning the debate in the rebuttals. If you get higher than that, you did all of those things AND THEN SOME. What many coaches would call, "the intangibles".
Thank you, in advance, for allowing me to observe and participate in your debate.
Aubtin Heydari Paradigm
I've been in the policy debate community for over 8 years, as a high school and college debater, coach, and judge. My career has mostly been defined by kritikal and performative debate, however I also have debated many traditional policy rounds. I am open to a wide variety of arguments and do not categorically dislike any type of argument, whether substantive or procedural.
I don't think a debate round needs to have anything to do with the resolution. With that said, I think both the high school and college topics are interesting and I would certainly like to learn something about the topic.
With kritik vs kritik debates, I look for the competing story/method of the Ks over tech. With policy vs policy, I defer to the line by line. With debates in between, I default to the strongest and most clear role of the ballot to frame my decision.
I see debates through an offense/defense paradigm, unless I am convinced to view the round a different way that is how I will conceptualize and evaluate the arguments. However I will vote on presumption/terminal defense args if I feel it is warranted. I believe that the aff has the burden of proof and in a hypothetical round where no speeches are made, the neg would win on presumption.
I'm extremely skeptical of spillover claims and it will be hard for me to see a debate round as anything other than a vacuum.
For speaker points, I try to evaluate you on your own speaking/debating style. If you spread that's fine, if you don't that's fine. If I have to say clear more than twice, I will begin to dock speaks. Things I like: knowledge/grasp of history, use of historical/situational examples, witty pop culture references, humor. Things I don't like: bitterness, unorganized speeches, being put in extremely uncomfortable situations.
I read a lot of kritikal literature and I enjoy new and challenging kritiks. When I debated, I mostly ran Deleuze, Accelerationism, Queer Pessimism, and Decoloniality. I also have experience/knowledge with Agamben, Baudrillard, Bataille, Lacan/Psychoanalysis, Afropessimism, Ableism, Deep Ecology/Anti-specieism, Irigaray, and various iterations of Marxism. I enjoy both high theory and identity-based kritiks, as well as soft-left and hard-left versions of kritiks.
I strongly prefer kritiks with actual links to the 1AC as opposed to vague links or links of omission, or at least links that are eventually contexualized to the 1AC. I don't care for vague alts and prefer alts that make my role as a judge clear. However I also do not think kritiks need alts per se.
I think method debates are the most interesting debates. There I said it.
Most of what I said above applies. Read them with or without a plan text, with or without cards, topical or untopical, as long as you can successfully defend the role and function of an aff ballot. I prefer "within the realm of the resolution," which is to say if you're aff engages the topic then I will be more engaged.
All debate is performative, but insofar as what is considered 'performance' debate I am game for all of it. Poetry, music, personal narrative, fiction pieces, videos, interpretive dance, roleplay, dadaist nonsense, stand up, if you can defend your performance and explain why I should vote for it then I'm open to voting for it. I love uniqueness and originality, whether that is in emotional honesty or creativity.
I have 0 problem voting for any framework arguments if it is clear from the flow that your model of debate is preferable or comparatively better than the opposing team. With that said, I prefer innovative and competitive equity framework arguments over traditional and restrictive frameworks. Because I believe kritik/performance arguments are embedded framework arguments, I enjoy contextualized clash (engaging the kritik) over abstract "clash of civ" debates.
Impact calculus is the name of the game. I can be swayed to vote on any impact or impact turns, even counter intuitive ones (as long as they're not racist), if you're impact calculus is clear. I enjoy the game aspects of policy (as opposed to the 'truth' aspects) but also the very gritty details of policymaking. I'm fairly well versed in economics (particularly wages) and international relations and find these issues interesting. I personally err on hegemony being bad (especially when it is indistinguishable from imperialism), but can be convinced to vote otherwise.
I assume politics DAs are more interesting now in the current climate. I like tradeoff DAs, case/advantage specific DAs, and CPs (particularly advantage CPs). Also case debates are great. A good neg strat synergizes off case and on case strategically, a good aff leverages the 1AC against that.
I enjoy theory debates when done well. I would say I have a moderate threshold when it comes to theory debates. I would prefer you flesh out a small number of standards concretely than spread a laundry list of unclear grounds. If you want me to vote on theory arguments, you should concretely explain why its a voter, or else I will at best reject the argument in question.
Racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia or transphobia will not be tolerated. I understand debates get heated and I think passion is a good thing but try to keep things civil outside the round. Also, I don't mind explaining my decision, answering questions, or hearing your concerns, but don't be antagonistic towards me.
I would like to be on the email chain at all times. I'm not too much a stickler, I don't mind stopping prep before you send the file/the USB, just be reasonable and don't push your luck. If I see you stealing prep I will restart prep time.
The judicial power structure of debate means that I possess absolute control of the aux and reserve the right to supersede your pre-/post-round music choice.
Beau Larsen Paradigm
Questions and email chains can be directed to: beau.a.larsen [@] gmail.com. My pronouns are THEY / THEM / THEIRS. I like snacks and water at almost all times. Trying to be better at keeping a /straight/ face while judging; don't over analyze my expressions though I'm typically just thinking about how an argument could/should develop.
***I'm a Grad Asst at Wake Forest completing my M.A in Communication and Rhetoric. If you would like to talk about Wake Forest or about attending RKS 2020, feel free to come up and talk to me or send an email! ***
Debated on the MN circuit, six bids to the TOC. Debated for the University of Southern California from 2014-2018, two first round bids to the NDT, Top Speaker of the 2018 CEDA Tournament, Baby Jo Debater of the Year.
I've defended and coached a wide range of argumentation - performance, critical theory, politics DAs, topicality, security ks, fiatted plans, etc. All of which I've developed meaningful education and skills from.
You do you, I'll do my best to evaluate your arguments. I prefer judging debaters who not /full speed/, clearer and make less but smarter and more in depth arguments. Fast debates are cool too but I will say clear if I can't flow what you are saying.
My biggest preference is to judge debaters who are engaged and enthusiastic. Please do not debate like you don't want to be debating. Persuade and communicate. Clarity is important. Greater the explanation, the better. Impact out your link arguments. Warrants, empirics, examples. These practices will increase your speaker points. Debate evidence. Cite their evidence in your link/internal link/impact scenarios, and vise versa.
- I really am not a fan of tag team cross ex
- I typically flow cross ex and find that it is often situating my ballot/where the debate goes
I like smart well thought out theory arguments - compare interps and respond to standards.
Probably more lenient than others on what I think CPs can do/fiat but that's still up for the theory debate.
Love them. Impact and turns case analysis are a must.
I judge a lot of debates where affirmatives do not read a fiatted plan text, I default to the belief that these affs should defend a method/mechanism/plan with a solvency claim, should be resolutional, have isolated harms, etc. Can be persuaded else wise, it's up for debate. The negative should have some engagement with aff argumentation and generate offense and turns case arguments against the aff. Offense can come in a multitudinous amount of ways. This could be a topicality or framework argument. The negative should make sure to respond to aff offense/impact turns and compare your models of debate in developing your offense. Case and framework arguments that engage in aff literature are clutch. Affs should be able to talk about their model of debate and the role of the negative alongside their offense.
KvK debate, think through competition and framing for the round. Delineations are important between the aff and the alt. The negative (and affirmative) should think through turns case arguments and external impacts.
- Ballot claims don't particularly grab my attention esp when that phrased about how x team seeks recognition
Brian McBride Paradigm
For starters, I should admit a bit of my recent self. After experiencing my left arm go numb this last June, I was diagnosed with DDD – degenerative disc disease. I was involved in a horrendous debate van accident in the mid 90s and another bad car crash last year. In short, it hurts me to flow. I can’t really take anything for it at tournaments because it makes me too foggy to judge and coach. As such, I don’t really feel like I’m as good at flowing as I used to be. I try to correct for it by revisiting my flows during prep time.
I give speaker points on the basis of what happens in debates, not on the basis of who should clear. I don’t give speaker points because of the existence of a plan or a policy. I do not give speaker points on the basis of whether or not I agree with your arguments. I do change my speaker points for tournaments and within divisions. If it’s a JV debate, I try to give points on the basis of the division. I have very rarely looked at the other points that other judges give except when the ballots come in for my own debaters. I guess I’m behind the times.
Andrew Myers Paradigm
Current Assistant Director of Debate for Gonzaga University and Former Assistant Head Coach at Mead HS.
BA- Phil/Poli-Sci GU '12, MA- Phil SUNY Buffalo '14
4 Years Debating for Mead HS, 3 Years for Gonzaga. 5 Years Assistant Coach Mead HS, 5 Years ADOD at GU.
Final NDT Update – Minnesota NDT 19 (3-19-19)
To paraphrase Ryan Wash, this shit here is like a novel – it’s long and a lot to read. Fair, so I stole the “philosophy for the Twitter generation” idea from Adam Symonds for those that don't want to read it all:
TLDR: I have voted for and against Framework, Antiblackness, ESR + Flex, Nuclear Deterrence, Storytelling, and the State. Boo untopical policy Affs and abusive ESR CPs. Hater's Guide: Strict about highlighting, thinks Logic is real, votes for caring about people, Education > Fairness, thinks Debate isn’t just a game, hates agenda politics disads, votes for identity arguments.
My Decision Making Process:
My Vote means I think Team A wins and Team B loses. The final rebuttals most likely to win my ballot are clear on why my vote should declare their Team the winner, but the final rebuttal isn’t the only thing I will consider.
The Process of deciding which Team wins
1. General Impression – What is my first intuition about which team won the debate and why?
2. Check the Record – Did I miss something? Did I undervalue an Argument? Is there a critical concession?
3. Casting a Vote –
A. What are the “voting” issues?
B. Which, if any, arguments were decisively won or lost?
C. How do those arguments relate to the voting issues raised?
4. Determination and Decision – How will I explain the decision? Why Do I accept one of Team A’s or Team B’s voting issues over the other, i.e. Why not vote the opposite way?
This, quite simply, is how I make a decision. For why I make my decision, the rest of my judging philosophy is committed to continued debates where the voting issues are familiar. Debate is more exciting when the ground is unfamiliar, but that doesn’t mean classic debates are not interesting. Note that what constitutes a “classic” debate has more to do with intensity than ideology.
I cannot express anymore so clearly than this: Debate should not be a violent exercise, but it should be competitive, performative, and reasoned activity.
Arguments I will not likely ever vote for
A. Make debate a violent activity
B. Refuse Competition, Performance, or Reasoning.
(See below: Ethos, Pathos, Logos)
Examples of Arguments I will likely not like voting for:
1. No K’s ever judge, philosophy is too hard! If making sure when we act we do the right thing is hard for you, I have no sympathy.
2. Debate is Bad because it’s competitive! If your argument is right that winning is bad, why should you win? Clearly debate can take the competitive spirit too far and into the realm of toxicity (see: Either, A.). That violence forgets that part of playing a game is that you play with others.
3. The Circular Logic of Intrinsicness – There is a difference between what I think is intrinsic to the activity, a.k.a. what is to be done while judging, and the assertion of something being intrinsically good. The remnants of theory debates recirculating invoke too fondly paramount truths that are evidently not so self-evident.
4. The Argument as You experienced it/know it – My role here is to consider how we experience you making that argument in relation to others.
Finally, Debating about a Topic is language gaming. There are various language games we play, but we do so competitively at the intersection of thought and performance.
The 2018-2019 CEDA-NDT Topic headache:
I’ll evaluate the debate in front of me. I don’t think this resolution makes sense, and worse, is the bad kind of language game. I miss resolutions that were a statement, not a matrix.
If y’all are intent on having an ESR/Flex debate, that’s fine. Aff’s should be able to answer those core generics, some CPs are more abusive than others. I just don’t find that debate interesting.
I don’t get why Framework teams read not-topical Affs and not-topical TVAs, but especially on this topic (where the floodgates are clearly open). Aim Higher! K teams should not be afraid to read T in front of me against policy Affs. Policy Negs should be ready to defend the topic if your Framework argument is that the topic is good.
No Exec Authority to First Use Nuclear Strike =/= No First Use
Affs should specify the restriction(s)
I don’t think the Act of students debating simultaneously does anything about Trump in the moment. I do think I have seen debating by students on this topic that could effectuate change out of the round. I don’t know if this means anything in regards to presidential power.
I’m really not cool with War Criminals or Fascists.
NDT 16 Judge Philosophy Update 3-25-16
This will by my second year judging and coaching at the NDT for Gonzaga, and I feel compelled to comment on my continually developing disposition(s) as a judge.
I’ve had 52 rounds on this topic, varying in all styles.
I implore you to read what I’ve written here. I take this part of my job seriously and want to demonstrate how my thinking (philosophy) changes and stays the same.
If you don’t read it, ask Michigan KM how that went.
I prefer my role as a judge to be a primarily nonverbal communicative partner – including me in the round, making eye contact (when appropriate), reacting to how I am understanding you, is not merely a narcissistic request: it’s a recognition of a preference for active learning and teaching, for all of us.
I have previously written here that I prefer to be an educator, but frankly that won’t be the case for certain content or experiences. I can, however, offer some academic advice on the structure of your arguments, rhetoric and speaking style. Thus, being an educator is a preference based on comfort, but my comfort isn’t my preference with exception to the following uncomfortable (enough to vote you down) scenarios:
- Making jokes about rape, or responding to issues of sexual violence with jokes. It’s not funny to me. You know who you are.
- Sex, Gender, Orientation, Race or Ability discrimination
- Being willfully ignorant about Race. Racial naiveté isn’t always a reason to lose a round, but being unwilling to admit fault, mistake or responsibility for certain behaviors is not, at the very least, a persuasive way to get my ballot.
As a quick aside on education, the question of what a university should be for often causes me consternation. After all, for someone who valued education as an excuse not to go home, my growing pessimism in the academy (whether from the expected bitterness of graduate school or from the contemporary conversations of the occupy and black lives matter generation) makes me receptive to some cynical positions. I’ve seen some pretty indefensible things condoned in the University. That said…I still believe this activity can be good for students and as such my responsibility is primarily to them. The second I don’t believe that, I won’t be here. Without students we coaches don’t have a job. See Below: Commitment to Educational Debate.
And so I return to my reason for posting: I felt compelled because of my position to comment on some topics pervading the debate community right now:
- If I’m on a panel and someone wants to replace me, I won’t be offended as long as I can cover the rounds I am obliged to so my students can debate.
- If there is a recording, I don’t really want to be on it… So I understand the concern with being recorded against your will. I know states differ on their local laws and the NDT Committee has put forth polices on it. If both teams have to be on video, then I will also have to be on video for the space to be fair(er). I think there are interesting privacy arguments in support of extending protections against being recorded in debates, but I also think accountability is important. In the end I just want to judge the debate.
- I think speech times have to be rigid. I am fine with flex prep, and am honestly lax about prep in general, but at some point fairness and timeliness is a concern.
- I once judged a debate where a Bifo team hit a Buddhist team and they deconstructed the round, reconstructed it, and gave final speeches after dialogue. It was different but not uncomfortable, on time, mutually agreed upon, and productive.
- The only things I will say about civility concerns: a) Before the debate starts I don’t expect much other than if I’m asked I’ll answer questions. b) When the timer starts for the 1AC it’s all performance – that’s a necessary space to express some seriously challenging thoughts c)When the timer stops I prefer some quiet to make a decision, but I often will go smoke or put my headphones in anyway d) At no point should you physically harass anyone. Consent for me applies equally well to unwanted intentional physical touching e) Other issues are probably not my fight and I don’t poke around in them unless beckoned to – either by the ballot or as a community member and academic employee.
As a child Hip Hop made me read books,
And Hip Hop made me wanna be a crook
And Hip Hop gave me the way and something to say
And all I took in return is a second look
- Slug, Party for the Fight to Write
An Admission of Hubris –
“I probably have read the primary sources your authors are talking about.”
Turns out I don’t know much about many contemporary primary source debate authors, even if many of them I do (Given my previous disclosures of my education, expected authors would include stuff like Foucault and Fanon, but exclude stuff like Berlant and Bifo). Either way, you could plausibly predict what I’ve read merely given the MA and BAs in Political Science and Philosophy from a Jesuit Liberal Arts School. Ah how the tables have turned!
To Finish, another nod to Z-Lowe..
Ten Things I Like and Dislike
1. Terrible highlighting -
Honestly a lot of the “evidence” students are reading into the round has become unrecognizable by academic standards of clarity and integrity. Examples of things that irk me: sentence fragments, highlighting parts of a word as a word (i.e., deforestation becomes “defo,” proliferation becomes “prolif,” nuclear weapons becomes "nucs" ). A good way to understand my expectation: highlight your evidence as if you were quoting your sources in an academic paper. Anything else is the privileging debate norms over educational standards of scholarship.
2. Reading a Pile ‘O’ Cards -
In almost every entry here I bring this up. I still will read a bunch of evidence after the round given certain circumstances, but it’s my least favorite thing to do. Given the complexity of debate and the relative short times to make decisions, I don’t want to spend my time adjucating reading evidence I should have heard as part of your “speech.” Making a decision after re-reading read evidence in a debate distances judges from the performance of the speech and increases the likelihood of interpretive hubris. I don’t think either of those things are desirable characteristics of a decision. My novel idea for debate would be for judges to hear evidence read, the first time its read. I also think this is possibly a reason why I often find affective modes of communication persuasive – what they lack in depth they make up in clarity. I don’t think debate is a research competition.
A minor quip on the subject of speech documents: sending a speech doc for your opponents and judges that is 100 pages is both annoying and unrealistic. It makes it hard for everyone and borders on obfuscation. For my philosophy on obfuscation, See: Baudrillard.
3. Affs That Do Things –
I was more often a 2A than a 2N throughout my career. I loved the challenge of changing the status quo. Debate is one of the few spaces you can advocate things we would otherwise be shutdown for: ideas being politically unlikely, socially difficult or subject to academic inertia. If you aff decides to do nothing, I am very likely to buy presumption/pessimism arguments in response. If your aff does something, I am more likely to filter the debate through that proposed change. On a somewhat related note, my proclivity for opacity arguments is almost always as a neg strategy. I do think there are instances in which an opacity Aff makes sense, but given my biases here, it may be best to explain opacity as somehow a strategy to change the SQ, instead of merely retreat from it.
4. Violence, Nebulas… not Stirred
Too many debates I’ve seen have debaters using violence as an ultimate impact, without explaining intricacies or giving frameworks for understanding what violence means. How am I supposed to adjudicate different claims of violence against each other? Or what about violence against some tangible traditional impact (War, Environment, Disease)? Ethics can’t function if everything is axiologically leveled to “violence,” and thus questions of what I should vote for is very likely to be arbitrary in the minds of participants, even if inevitable given the level of analysis in the debate.
5. Demarcating Points of Contestation
Similar to my respect for taking on the challenge of the SQ, I reward debaters who clearly demarcate points of contestation in the round and focus on those matters of debate. Too often debaters run away from arguments rather than engage them. In the college policy debate community this can be discouraging, because we are supposedly a model for deliberation and dialogue. Those latter realities only exist if you’re willing to admit where the debate is, admit that you may not necessarily be right, but debate out the issues.
6. Lost Art of the Case Debate
I am by no means a stock issues judge, but I do think that every argument, every aff should be responsible for these questions. A lot of the time case debate devolves into alt causes and impact defense. While those are good arguments to have, especially in the 2nr, not debating the case is almost always an important forgone opportunity. This is particularly true for K affs – put up a fit and you will be in a much better position than simply ignoring the case. Because of my expectations of an affirmative, I can be persuaded to not vote for an aff based on solvency alone.
7. Joshua Greene on Deontology and Util –
I feel it’s important to disclose this bias, and I have to a few teams. Here’s the thing, when you spend a year on a masters thesis and one of the opponents of your thesis becomes a large focus of effort, time and intellectual investment…it’s nearly impossible to remove that bias. Joshua Greene’s arguments in favor of a moral realist/essentialist account of utilitarianism and deontology invariably raises my blood pressure and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Read a different defense of utilitarianism in front of me – I’m not persuaded FMRI’s prove how people think morally.
8. Flex Time –
I think there is enough to be gained in cross-examination, the most lively and engaging part of debate, that using prep time to ask and answer questions has almost no downside for me. That said, I think the other team has the right to not consent to questions of content (instead of clarification questions: theory, technical or flow) after the normal 3-minute cx period has expired.
9. Conflating Topicality and Framework –
The more persuasive arguments for me center on the content/object of the resolution (military presence) rather than on implementation/actor questions. For one, I think a resolution without “federal government” makes traditional Topicality arguments that turn into framework arguments very duplicitous. Framework should be the debate about what that Aff and Neg should have to do to meet a good interpretation of debate. If an aff makes an ethical statement that US Military Presence is bad, you have the grounds to say its good. You don’t need USFG action to do that. An Aff that doesn’t engage in the question of military presence, or some interpretation of that, isn’t being topical and I can find it a reason to vote Neg. I have voted on different conflations of Framework and T, but I increasingly find it important to delineate the two.
10. Being Big
I am still working on my pronoun usage and am myself unclear about my thoughts on many issues of identity, but I do think my persona in debate, while always authentic, is somewhat reserved. I am not particularly motivated to be extroverted in an activity that often reminds me how stuck up academics can be, and how they think that just because of my appearance they can crack jokes I find distasteful. As a result, I want to be known by who I am when I’m in the debate community. Calling me Andrew is a sign you haven’t given me the courtesy of reading this. Big is always the best way to refer to me.
2015-16 (Military Presence) Preseason Update:
I still endorse my philosophy as written below. Just a few quick updates as we begin this year:
- I am probably not the best judge for Baudrillard debates. Sue me. (Or Forget Baudrillard)
- I still like watching CPs and DAs, much to the dismay and/or shock of my fellow judges and coaches.
- I have a fairly low threshold for what is reasonably topical, but I prefer a reasonability argument on T to make an interpretation of the topic and give me a claim as to why the Aff (and other Affs) could engage the topic under that interpretation.
- Teams that escape jargonism, fashionable witticisms, and oversimplified argument explanation will do well in front of me. I like creative and unique debaters (which can be accomplished in any style - it's usually a matter of dedication, effort and presentation).
- Please explain Acronyms early in the year. Not everyone is going to get what your particular subdivision affirmative is on first hearing it.
- If you didn't read my judging philosophy before round, expect no pity for ignoring my preferences and/or committing offenses I find particularly blameworthy.
- If you can't debate technically, debate thuroughly. I am just flowing in excel columns anyway.
- Random but non-negligble pet peeve: students who start lists and never finish them (e.g., Debater says "There are Three Impacts to the K" then explains only two impacts).
- I value Cross-Examination like a speech. You can win and lose a round in one of those 3 min segments.
- Finally, I proscribe to this ridiculous notion that Debate is a Communicative Activity where Debaters try and Persuade me to Vote for them. See below for what persuades me and what doesn't.
2015 NDT Update:
I decided to post an update to my judging philosophy for the upcoming NDT (2015). Hopefully this is with enough time (a couple of weeks) for everyone to review it.
By far the most important thing: While I've judged 40-45 rounds on this topic, I have done so primary here out west. I don't think that disqualifies any of the debates I've watched - there were some terrific debates I had the privilege to judge this year. Still, full disclosure: I am more familiar with some teams than others, in the sense I've judged them debate before. Then again, with mutual pref judging, this seems like an inevitable outcome - you will always have seen certain parts of the debate community, hardly ever the whole field.
I decided to update what I've written so far for my judging philosophy primarily because I know the preceding to be compelling case for further disclosure of how I adjudicate debates. I stand by much of what I've already written. To expand, I decided to give a "Top Ten Things I Like and Don't like" (primarily an influence of reading Zach Lowe/Simmons Inc... also playing liberally with "Like" and "Don't Like," substitute "find persuasive" and "don't find persuasive" if you wish) in debate rounds.
Top Ten Things I Don't Like (In no particular Order):
My First round back in debate came down to a clipping call out. Where I come from this is a "no-brainer" ethics question, but I do feel strongly that some rules in debate are necessary. One of those is you must read what you submit as evidence in speeches, particularly when in the form of cards. You will lose if you clip in front of me, but I need video/audio evidence and speech docs to determine this. Please, for everyone involved, do a better job of digitally "marking" your cards - don't leave things to chance.
Because I view clipping this way, it's important to note that while I'm not willing to vote for a team that clipped evidence, not all infractions are alike. I will not always simultaneously reduce speaker points to zero, or some other tanking number, and vote a team down. I believe mistakes can be made, but I also believe people can be malevolent.
Just don't do it, slow down and you'll probably sound better anyway.
I mean this somewhat sarcastically, but nothing about you reading into a computer screen is persuasive to me. I will always believe in the value of files, evidence and research, but those are neither absolute ideals nor the only means to win a debate round. Arguments, for instance, are not something I'm willing to vote on because it was written somewhere - explanation of evidence is key. I feel the prevalence of paperless debating is a evil necessity, primarily because debaters lose something of their ability to speak otherwise. Look up at me occasionally?
Call this my inverse justification for Clash being a thing I like. Debaters who avoid issues in debate/debate rounds are usually being: (1)selfish, (2)cowardly, (3)strategic or (4) unknowing/naive/unwilling. Only two of those states become problematic for a debate round, for two produce clash and argumentation, and the other two make the debate messy and needlessly complicated. Don't avoid a point of contestation with me, but also don't feel like I have a preferred set of points from which all arguments should begin.
4. Reading Evidence After the Round
I still dislike this practice, and I wrote about it previously below. However, I should make something clear: I really, really dislike debates where reading a pile of cards is the way to come to a decision. This, I understand, can be the natural outcomes of both good and bad debates. However, I want to stand by my statement:
"I will check evidence for accuracy/truth in representation if another team claims it doesn't support its intended use (i.e. your card that says the sky is purple actually claims the sky is blue). If an argument wasn't clear to me, and you were supposed to win a round on it, you probably should have made it clearer than a mumbled 15 seconds."
I have read multiple pieces of evidence in the post-round this year. I will admit that evil necessity paperless debate has this charm, and having the evidence in an email chain seems like not only good academics, but also a modicum of professionalism. I can't say I haven't been more compelled to read because I can get entire speech docs. This is a particularly helpful part of adjudicating that I won't ignore. However, if I can't get what you want me to get out of evidence in the post round (particularly if it's under-highlighted, which happens too frequently and is frankly discouraging) you will likely have dissuaded me more than had I not, and that matters for close NDT Debates.
The easy way to avoid all of this is to read evidence clearly, and draw the necessary warrants out of it. I think it's lazy to collapse an evidenced argument into a Authors last name (excluding titling a flow). Yes, technically there could be a "line" there, but is a bad practice of rhetoric and I find it unpersuasive. I also am always willing to check on factuality rather than persuasion. If you provide reasons why the other team's evidence is misread/doesn't support their argument, I value that style of argumentation equally as much as I dislike having to interpret evidence for/against speeches. I do not have a problem reading evidence, especially at the NDT, on the basis of these arguments. Ultimately, I am not going to read every piece of evidence submitted for review like that was all you did in the debate round - submitting evidence for review. I have other portions of the debate to think about.
5. Victim Blaming
I have no desire to vote for any argument that implies this ethos. This is both an ethos and a logos question. For example, Psychoanalysis K's can run dangerously close to blaming rape victims. I am not cool with that frame of mind and will flush your expensive euro-trash with a L.
6. Rude Partners
This is the sneaky dark-horse for my ideal in debate: the best debate occurs when partners work together, not individually.
Crazy right? Those who chose 2 person CX debate at some point chose to work with others. I reward debaters who embrace that aspect more than the sound of their own voice. A smart team is almost always two individuals working hard for each other, rather than two smart debaters working for themselves.
Don't be destructive to each other. Agonistic partnerships can be very successful, but they can also hurt your chances at winning. By far the best indictment of your argument, in any round, comes from your partner. Don't belittle, unnecessarily interrupt, or look upset/uninterested during your partner's speech. I ultimately give my ballot to a team, not an individual.
There is also a way to be kind/authentic in criticizing the arguments of your opponents (if you need a primer, see Dennett's "How to compose a successful critical commentary" in Intuition Pumps. I am by no means a fan of Dennett, but that process is one every debater should think about). Make sure, as much as one can, to do this as a team.
7. Tagless Taglines
A bit of 4 and 2 in this one, but I am also old school in how evidence is tagged. I am fine with short tags for evidence that requires no explanation. "Extinction," however, is neither a claim nor statement of fact. In fact, many cards read and tagged in such a manner frequently have little to make me believe the argument is even that strong. On the opposite end of the spectrum are K teams who read 3-4 paragraphs and don't introduce the evidence, or make it clear what part of their argument is supported by some fragment of analysis. Taglines in K debates I have a higher threshold on, but those issues irk me as much as badly tagged evidence that is then read unclearly anyway. Make claims, support them with evidence (or as I told many of my students in the past: evidence is a tool, not an argument).
8. Speaker Point Inflation
Mostly because I couldn't avoid it and my judging philosophy no longer represents my scale well. For the NDT:
26 and Below - You were punishably rude.
26.5. Incomplete, your speech ended with large gaps, whole flows dropped, no persuasiveness
27. Poor, you made a crucial error, were completely disorganized or had gaps in your speeches
27.5 Below Average, you provided no momentum for the ballot
28 - Average, you proved you should be here
28.5 - Above Average, you have the power to win some more ballots here
29.0 - Excellent, you should break at the NDT.
29.5 - Elite, you will be debating on Monday.
30 - Asymptotic, per my experience, these are so infrequent you can't predict them happening.
9. Debaters who don't Check Themselves
It's important to know when you're crossing a line from competitive to exclusionary, confident to obtuse. It's also important to act in a manner that produces a meaningful debate experience (whatever that may be). If that becomes impossible because you're not willing to discuss things like privilege, it seems you've failed at a basic test of self-skepticism that makes arguing possible. When debaters know they can lose on things like "Your evidence doesn't say Econ declines" and don't agree with decisions made through that framing, that to me is on par with refusing to answer the claim that "Your experience should be recognized as privileged in this analysis" and losing because they weren't open to how experience can be interepreted. We can't have debates if we don't purport to have some level of skepticism, arguing would cease to function educationally. That said, these are questions that implicate arguments, and almost completely arguments, rather than individual debaters.
10. Coaches that Degrade, not Support, their Students
I can deal with coaches making fun of each other, but how you treat the students in debate tells me more about you than how you treat the your fellow coaches. I am very intolerant of this in all forms - the students are paying to do this, not us. Treating any student in a defamatory or rude manner, that's a major turn off and I would prefer we don't speak.
Top Ten Things I Like (In no particular Order):
1. Analytic Arguments
I don't know if this a function of my experience with speech and debate growing up, but debaters who can't make arguments without evidence almost certainly are at a disadvantage in front of me. I will not simply dismiss a logical argument because you have a piece of evidence that argues, rather than proves/demonstrates, the opposite. Analytic arguments quality check the cohesiveness of the debate, bring issues to light in the block often foregone, and demonstrate a level of understanding and willingness to argue. Analytic arguments in debate almost always function on an a-posteriori basis and rarely a-prior unless that "K-Word" comes back into play. You should be able to argue, for instance, about connections between evidence, without needing another piece of evidence. This demonstrates a higher level of skill in debate that I reward. I do this not only selfishly as a lover of argumentative analysis, but also as someone who knows this skill can be, and often is, rewarded by graduate school, job opportunities and other sectors of life.
2. Proof by Example(s)
Though I like analytic arguments, and find a-priori claims persuasive, most often the fruitful discussions in debate occur when teams give concrete examples to explain, (sometimes seemingly) abstract concepts, connections or arguments. This process of concretion demonstrates to me a level of sophistication and understanding, and also a tangible hook to hang my hat on during post-round decisions. Obviously metaphors, poems, scripted-performances, etc. could all be examples of proof by example, not just history. Consider my preference here to be a testing question:
Basic Argument Necessities:
1. Do you have a Claim?
2. How is that Claim supported?
3. Proof by example: how does your argument operrationalize in different parts of the debate? How might it explain other questions in the debate?
4. Impact in/for the Round
3. Confidence/Willingness to Make Mistakes
I believe the qualities we associate with great debaters usually include fearlessness, confidence, complete attention, etc. These can manifest in different ways, and those ways in different people. The confidence that impresses me is the willingness to try, and be willing to fail to win a debate round. I think sometimes debaters are too worried about losing to focus on winning. As long as that focus doesn't result in other harmful mannerisms, attitudes and actions, I reward debaters for trying to win the round with with a cool confidence.
4. Round Awareness
Somewhat piggybacking of of 3, Debaters who are aware of details during a debate round can always make more strategic persuasive connections. There is a difference, for instance, in debating in the out rounds of the NDT and the Prelims. The way you construct your speech should be wary of that. The composition(s) of the people in the round is not ignorable, the audience included. There is also an awareness of how arguments function, when to stop belaboring, and when to reword and reclarify those arguments. These skills develop with time, but they should be easier to excersise with me because I am a fairly expressive judge. I am no Dallas, alas, but I do nod my head, smile, frown, laugh...you know, those things that make most of us feel human. I find this to be the most honest practice. Mostly, however, I am just very bad at Poker...so I will not try to be a stone-faced judge.
Debaters should also be aware of time. I don't reward teams with more than completing a sentence when the timer ends. I don't reward desperate shadow extensions in the last few seconds. I do reward speeches that end on or before time, or speeches that properly allocate time. I do reward good use of prep and CX time. Speaking time is the most valuable aspect of debate you can somewhat control, and everyone has the same access to the same time. Utilizing time well is a very good indicator of in round awareness.
5. Commitment to Educational Debate
This is an academic community (it includes mostly people employed and/or enrolled in the academy) that should primarily be focused on the Students. As such, students who understand where the pedagogical value of their arguments lie have a greater chance of winning in front of me. This is partly a question of logos (what have you learned, how did you learn it, what are we to learn?) and commitment your fellow students. Granted: not all students are alike, nor do they have the same experience. These two facts should be treated as advantageous: because you all are not alike and share different experiences, a commitment to learning together is probably the best possible praxis for debate. How does the debate round, per your framework or role of the ballot, promote learning? If learning is not all that important to you, that's fine. But understand I value this part of debate more than fairness or love of the game. I refuse to believe that debate doesn't help students - if that's your explicit goal I will likely be dissuaded. If you don't think debate is important, don't be in debate.
Judging very stressful debates can build up a lot of pressure. Humor is a great release valve. That being said, it's not in everyone's repertoire. Do what makes you comfortable, self-depreciation is almost always humbling but also potentially lighthearted.
Debate can be frustrating when neither team argues about the other teams arguments. The worst debates to judge, for me, have been ones where the Aff only talks about aff evidence, the Neg about the neg evidence. I think this is primarily a function of three practices:
A. Horizontal proliferation of arguments. I am persuaded by claims about 4-5 conditional options as weighing heavily against in depth clash from the 2AC. Part of me believes that this is inevitable in a competitive activity, part of me believes that it is also a defensible tactic. That said, if a team is "pushing pieces" but not arguing well, I do value theoretical objections on the basis of what positons move away from clash and what positions move toward it.
B. Fear of Impact Turning arguments. Too many times arguments become needlessly unwound without a point of disagreement. Your solvency/framework/kritik cards may poke many a whole, but the best evidence takes a stance in the opposite direction. Do I believe all impact turns are the same, ethically speaking? No: see Victim Blaming, above. That being said, in front of me, you can "Impact Turn" a methodology as much as you can a value claim. Why teams don't do this more often is strategically puzzling. They said Science was Bad? Maybe there are arguments that Science can be Good, or Useful? "Impact Turn" strategies make an obvious point of contestation that makes creative clash possible. However, Impact turning is merely a sufficient but not necessary means achieve that clash.
C. Debaters hate being wrong. Probably for good reason - most have been trained not to argue wrong things. Still, without trying out different arguments that produce a response from your opponent, debate kind of becomes oratory research reports, rather than engaging discussion.
8. ROTB's that Both Teams can Access
I do not find a "Role of the Ballot" claim that is to "vote for us" to be persuasive. I think its dishonest and transparently one sided to interpret the role of a ballot through one team's participation. Strictly speaking I think the role of my ballot is always to vote for the team that did the best debating, but if you have an argument otherwise, I would be more persuaded by a functionality/interpretation of how my vote works if both teams get a chance of receiving that vote. Otherwise its a meaningless piece of debate jargon substituting comfortable rhetoric for good impact framing.
9. Balance of Pathos, Ethos, Logos
Old-School Comm in this sense. Good public speaking requires a balancing all three. Excelling in one or more is ideal, but an above average accounting for each aspect is more valuable than any one on its own.
You could be completely correct on a knowledge question, but did not impact that access to truth, nor argue for it with any passion. That is less persuasive than someone who may have lost a few questions of truth, but can still access impacts and passionately argue for them.
You could be full of passion, emotion and making an ethical case without an explanation of how your argument functions or why it should be believed (reasoning, logos).
Put another way:
If you are right on a question, that means you can win that part of the debate (Logos). You do not win for being right in places.
If you are passionate on a question, that means you can string together good arguments persuasively. Without arguments, you won't be persuasive, just passionate.
If you win an ethics question, that means you can frame the debate and win it. You could be right that violence is bad, but not provide a means to resolve it, analyze it or persuade me that its a reason to vote for you.
10. Round Framing in Final Rebuttals
Almost universally, this is what separates elite from above average debaters. Many of the Coachs and People Who Teach Labs I've talked to aree this is one of, if not the most important skill thats difficult to polish. The difficulty of the 1AR/2NR/2AR notwithstanding, the best speeches, and thus the easiest to vote for, frame how to make a decision regarding particular arguments and strategies as a whole. Not doing this puts it in my hands, which is not a bad thing per say, but it's always more strategic to tie together your arguments and show how they win the round. Old-school Voting Issues are important to me. What is most important, what could you do without? Even/if statements in the last rebuttals are supremely helpful.
Fall 2014 Judging Philosophy**
First, I should mention: I left College Debate before my senior year at Gonzaga. This did not play well with many in the community, after all I was abandoning an activity I had previously spent so much time on.
After graduating from Gonzaga, I enrolled SUNY at Buffalo's PhD in Philosophy program. I recently received my Masters and left UB to pursue other things in life.
I mention these things only to say, if I appear bitter, I really am not. But I do believe there are more important things than debate, and all of what I have been reading - on various media and social media platforms - about debate rings true about academia as a whole.
All of that said, I still think debate is an important activity, especially for students. As a judge, I have always preferred to act as an educator. This can include simply listening and giving the reflections of an average citizen - any debate is still ultimately a two-way street of communication for me. Thus, the primary importance of debate, for me, is that it is a speech activity emphasizing persuasion skills. I have no stylistic preferences, but I have been out of the game for about 3 years so I might be a bit rusty with speed, and might need some expanding of abbreviations, jargon and/or acronyms. Clarity and rhythm are crucial either way, and I'll announce "clear" several times before giving up flowing. Frankly, speed reading ultimately trades off with clarity, and I'd rather hear your argument than guess. Because I know I'm rusty I figured I should be clear with that warning - I'm not going to flow theory real well at 400wpm, let alone cards.
The other ultimate difference between myself and my peers: I detest reading a pile of evidence after a round. With few exceptions, most debates come down to a decision about a few issues. If this were quarters at the NDT, I would definitely join this practice insofar as my due diligence for the activity is concerned. If you think a piece of evidence is important, remember that I heard you read it once, and you have multiple opportunities to explain why the evidence is crucial. The obvious caveat to all of this is that I will check evidence for accuracy/truth in representation if another team claims it doesn't support its intended use (i.e. your card that says the sky is purple actually claims the sky is blue). If an argument wasn't clear to me, and you were supposed to win a round on it, you probably should have made it clearer than a mumbled 15 seconds.
I suppose in many ways my academic traits mirror that of my debate tastes. I tend to be a generalist - arguments of many shapes and varieties can peak my interest. In terms of my degree, my AOS is in metaphysics, and my AOCs are in Ethics, Ancient Philosophy and Continental/Social Philosophy. That being said, I spent the last few years being too weird for both the analytic and continental schools of philosophy - I find Baudrillard and Dennett equally intolerable. I probably have read the primary sources your authors are talking about. Just because you think repeating "Dasein" or some other term over and over is going to get a win, the reality of things often disagrees. Be clear and concise and don't rely on jargon to win your criticisms, make them apparent with evidence comparisons and concise link work. I love a good kritik debate, but despise a bad one. I debated all kinds of arguments in my career, and found many of those debates enjoyable for different reasons. I am comfortable with most anything, but don't tolerate any physical or mental abuse, discrimination or hate. Those are the easiest paths to make my ballot simple.
I'll accept any framework if it's argued for well. Performance, Identity etc. are all important elements in thinking about arguments. As I said, I like debate rounds that are aware of the activity as a communicative one. When I make expressions during your speeches, they usually are done intentionally. It's nice to be talked to as more than a transcriber.
If you have questions about typical jargon stuff, ask before the round. Frankly you should be able to convince me of something regardless of my biases - though I admit that my worst bias is openness to arguments. So I'm probably not going to reject a team for reading a K. Sorry.
Other housecleaning: I'm always a fan of being included in the debate if I'm judging, thus if you are paperless and are emailing, include me (andrewrossmyers [at] gmail [dot] com). I'll time prep as finished when the email is sent or flash drive is ejected. My main mentors, though I have had many, were Steve Pointer and Izak Dunn.
Speaker Points - My speaker points for an "average" debater is a 27.5. If I ever give someone a 30, it's probably going to be the last time I do.
Crafty-ness and Tactics
Persuasion and Interpersonal Speaking
Clarity, Calmness, Confidence
Effective and Engaging CX's
Why you gott be so rude? Don't you know they're humans too? Actually, being a little bit rude is what makes the activity fun, but there's a difference between joking/confidence/pressure and being distracting/harmful/obtuse. Please respect the thin line.
** Weber Update: I will vote teams down for clipping. This includes skipping words. I will only do so with video evidence in combination with the speech doc. I don't think this is always malicious, so my reduced speaker points will vary with the severity of the offense. (For instance, if you skip entire lines, I will give you a zero).
Kat Queirolo Paradigm
Kat Queirolo Judging Philosophy
Years in college debate: 5
Years in high school debate: 3
This is my first year out. I'll be updating this periodically as I work through my preferences, so consider this document a work in progress
I did policy debate at the University of Puget Sound. In school, I studied political theory and queer studies with a few encounters with philosophy.
I view debate as a competitive, educational and persuasive activity. More important than what I think is what you do.
I’m truly fine voting for any argument you want to make provided it is clearly articulated, performatively compelling, and robustly extended into the final rebuttals.
I enjoy a wide range of arguments. When I competed I most enjoyed debates about liberation, how can we make ourselves free in a world composed of systems of violence that impact us in the room, what freedom means, what debate can mean for freedom and how transformative politics can move us personally-politically to make the world otherwise. I am most persuaded by robust explanations of how you envision the world to be, how we ought to organize our political actions in order to accomplish the work of liberation. I like detailed explanation of link stories and alternatives, though I don't hold alternatives to a higher standard than I would a plan or a counterplan. Most important is that your alternative, counterplan, plan or advocacy solve the harms you isolate and tell me are important.
To the extent that this is possible, I will try to keep my personal inclinations out of the debate. In the event that debaters fail to articulate standards of evaluation, I will default to my own interpretation.
Offense is important. Have reasons why you win the debate. Have reasons why they lose the debate. Tell me why you win--frame my ballot for me. How do I evaluate arguments in the context of other arguments, or in the context of framing questions. How do you want me to view your arguments--through the frame of a theme, through the line-by-line, some other system. I'm fine organizing my flowing around "non-traditional" frames of interpretation if you give me "alternative" standards to consider.
If someone wants to win on presumption, it needs to be explained as an argument.
Why is your model a good model of debate, what are the roles of the aff/neg. What is the role of the judge. What is the purpose of debate as an activity. Convince me of the urgency of supporting your model of debate. I don't think that what we do in debate is separate from the rest of the world; I am most convinced of framework arguments, either traditional or "non-traditional," that connect what we do in this activity to real things that are happening in the world; that said, if you win the argument that debate is just a game and that what we do here has no bearing elsewhere, then I will vote in favor of your interpretation. That said, I do think that framework is often an excuse to refuse to debate questions that are urgent in their own right; accordingly, I appreciate when your interpretation includes room for the substance of the other team's arguments to be discussed. A topical version of the affirmative supported by robust analysis of how this accomodates the other team's own urgent questions is therefore the best way to convince me that your model of debate is urgent, fair, and educational.
Please be clear on your model of competition and why what the other team did was bad, eg. have good links and robust impact comparison. Please explain to me how the alternative/what you did resolves the links to the affirmative. Permutations need to be explained operationally eg. how does the perm work and how is that different from the alt/counterplan and are best if coupled with a model of competition. I can be convinced that the permutation is just a test of competition or that it is an advocacy in its own right worth affirming. Once an alternative is introduced into the debate it is an invitation to further expand on the possibilities of advocacies introduced, ie the permutation is an opportunity to expand on the possibilities of political organizing or theoretical elaboration. I appreciate specific link analysis to permutations eg. why is the permutation something that your advocacy resolves better.
Framing debates: You should always control how the debate is framed. What arguments do you think are the most important. Why should I evaluate the debate through your perspective as opposed to the other team's. If the debate is about methods, what are the methods. How do I evaluate competition in a methods debate. What is the implication of their method, your method. Please tell me what your role is in a methods debate, their role, my role.
Lately, I've been encountering a lot of teams articulating competition and link storiess according to theories of power. I'm not sure if this is new or became more popular during my time out of the activity, but I hadn't encountered these arguments as frequently as I am now seeing them that I am judging. This is something I am still working out, but if you imagine that this framing of competition matters more than other frames, please tell me your theory of power and explain it to highlight the shortcomings of the other team's arguments and why your theory of power resolves the links, disads, or impacts you isolate. I am intrigued by the avenues opened up by these lines of argument. What alternatives does your theory of power elaborate, what modes of organizing does it make possible. How does your theory of power relate to what is happening in the debate round itself - are there opportunities for link analysis according to what previously might have been called a performative link. If your primary link story is your theory of power, please do not just assert a claim that power works in x way and that the other team thinks about power in y way. I will be more convinced by a theory of power that isolates specific shortcomings in the other team's advocacy that isolates links and impacts than I will be of a theory of power that works more as a solvency deficit and a link of omission.
I always like to hear new arguments. I am pretty theoretically unflappable. I will more likely than not understand the words you are saying. More important than using the right words is making those words mean something.
More generally, evidence is a starting point: take the research you have done and transform it into a complete argument.
Above all, find some way to enjoy the debate! I know that is not always possible. We come to this activity for different reasons. We should live out those reasons.
Jason Regnier Paradigm
Judging Experience: 16 years
Overview: There is no one right way to debate. Of course we all have our biases and preconceptions, but I try to approach the round as a critic of argumentation & persuasion. Make your argument more effectively than your opponent and you will be in good shape. Your adaptation to the stylistic/technical comments below is far more important than your adaptation to any particular type of argument.
Stylistic/Technical Issues: I must be up front about the fact that I'm not a terrific flow. My ear for hearing extremely fast speech is not particularly great, and my handwriting is pretty slow. This means that debaters who strongly rely on the technicalities of the flow may not want to prefer me very highly. There seems to be a pretty clear cut inverse relationship between the speed at which you speak and the amount that I get written down on my flow. This greatly rewards debaters who give fewer, but more fully developed and explained, arguments. I will probably not read very many cards at the end of the debate, so don't rely on your evidence to make your arguments for you. Draw out and explain the warrants in your speech and you will be rewarded.I categorically *do not* want to be forced to reconstruct a debate round by rereading all of the evidence at the end of the round. This means that explanation in the final rebuttals weighs more for me than it might for others. Attend to the big picture, make direct comparisons showing why your arguments are better than your opponents', and most importantly, find the "hook" that allows you to frame the debate in your favor.
Theory Debates: I have found that I have a pretty high threshold for voting on theory issues. My general tendency is to congratulate the team that creates a strategic competitive advantage for themselves. This translates into a sort of "anything goes" attitude. For me, theory debates (and this applies to topicality and framework debates as well) come down to the depth of the impact explanation. If your argument is that the other team is being unfair, I want to hear all the gory details. What do they take away from you? What do they leave for you? What do they justify? And so on. If you don’t make me feel it, then odds are I won't vote on it.
Framework Stuff: I have regularly voted both ways in Framework debates. I evaluate these debates much like I would a debate over the "substance" of the case. Both sides need to play offense to amplify their own impacts while also playing defense against their opponent's impacts. In most cases where I have voted against critical affirmatives, it is because they have done a poor job answering the negative's "fairness" impact claims. In most cases where I have voted against traditional policy frameworks, it has been because they have done a poor job defending against the substantive critiques of their approach. My general set of biases on these issues would be as follows: critical (and even no-plan) affirmatives are legitimate, a team must defend the assumptions of their arguments, critiques don't need (and are often better served without) alternatives, debate rounds do not make sense as a forum for social movements, and most of the evidence used to defend a policy framework does not really apply to policy debate. Also, my new pet theory is that a large portion of framework debates can probably be "permed." However, to state the obvious, each of these biases can be overcome by making smart arguments.
Speaker Points: I think that I might tend to use a bit more range of the scale than some judges, and I've recently been trying to nail down more precisely how I assign points. Here are the things that I value in a good speaker. I love debaters that use ethos, logos AND pathos. Technique should be a means of enhancing your arguments, not obfuscating or protecting them. Look like you're winning. Show that you are in control of yourself and your environment. Develop a persona that you can be comfortable with and that shows confidence. Know what you're talking about. Answer your own cross-ex questions. Use an organizational system that works for you, but communicate it and live up to it (if you do the line-by-line, then *do* the line-by-line). I am now making a bigger effort to prioritize clarity in my points. By clarity, I do not just mean articulation & enunciation. I also include in that category the ability to understand the content of your evidence. If I can't follow what your evidence is saying, it will have as much weight in my decision as the tagline for that evidence would have had as an analytic. Debaters who make well thought out arguments with strong support will out-point debaters who just read a lot of cards every time.
Adam Symonds Paradigm
Updated philosophy as of March, 2019:
I'm judging more often and tabbing less these days, so I thought it was fair to have a little substance here. Anyway, this is how I judge:
(1) I have the speech doc open and I'm following along as you're reading cards
(2) I'm only ever listening to the speaker(s), I think it's really important not to be messing around with electronic media while judging.
(3) I'm constantly judging argument quality throughout the debate, so when the 2AR ends, 90% of the time I'm fairly certain who I am going to vote for. What time I spend looking over my flow and the evidence is used to think through the most likely questions from the losing team, to see if there's something that I might have missed.
(4) My general decision making process starts with impact calculus and impact comparison. If one side is decisively ahead here, this often controls my vote. 2NR and 2AR work here is vital.
(5) To decide key points of controversy in the debate, I identify each one from the final rebuttals, list them in the AFF or NEG column, then find the arguments from the responding team and line them up. Once I think the lists are complete, I choose which side persuaded me on each one.
(6) While I work hard to keep my (long list of) debate opinions out of debate in deference to the specific ways debaters make their arguments, I think it's only fair to list some of my abstract debate leanings so that you have more context/information:
--Everyone reading an aff related to the topic IS ideal for fairness, education, and research-based reasons, but simply listing off these buzzwords is not going to persuade me. And "related to the topic" is really case by case.
--On framework, education is more important than procedural claims - I regularly vote aff against framework bc the neg is overly fixated on "procedural fairness outweighs"
--Topical Versions of the Aff and Switch-Side debate arguments function like CPs that access AFF education and preserve fairness
--States CP is illegit bc it eliminates the literature-based debate over FG vs States
--CPs ought to be textually and functionally competitive
--Alts succeed by being deliberately vague and shifting later in the debate - especially "reject the aff" alts
--"Realism good" indicts virtually all affs on the Space Cooperation topic
--Both truth and techne matter
Rylee Taylor Paradigm
I am a former coach and debater from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I am currently a Masters student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
3rd year judging college debate
6th year judging high school debate
N/A rounds on the college topic judged so far
8 rounds judged on the high school topic so far
Please include me on the email chain - Email:Taylor3@unlv.nevada.edu
*strongly prefer email over pocketbox(or speech drop)
I am willing to evaluate any arguments that you make, as long as you explain and execute it well. There is no need to change your arguments to something you think I like or will vote on, just give me the best debate you can, using your best arguments, and you will be fine. I try very hard to keep my personal opinions out of my decision as much as possible. I am more of a tech > truth judge, because I think technical debate is good debate. If you aren't doing line by line debate, or keeping things organized in some other manner, my flows probably look a mess which isn't good for anyone, so please keep things clean.
I will attempt to be as neutral as possible and evaluate the arguments presented in the debate independent of my own opinions.
I think it is important to EXTEND WARRANTS inside your evidence. You should explain the importance/relevance/ implications of the evidence as well. Tagline extended claims without warrants are not complete arguments.
Smart analytical arguments beat terrible cards all day, every day. Please don't just card dump if you never plan to explain any of those arguments or worse yet, if you aren't sure what to say. I would prefer you take the time to logically think through the other teams arguments than just read a bunch of cards that don't make arguments.
Judge Instructions/Directions: This is super important, especially in the last rebuttals, tell me why I should vote for you in response to the other teams arguments about why I should vote for them. Tell me how I should begin evaluating the round by comparing your arguments to the other team's.
Theory: Slow down on theoretical arguments, or I won't be able to flow them. They should not be read at the same speed as a card. I am fine to adjudicate theory args but you need to be specific, tell me how many conditional advocacies is too many and what specific abuse that causes.
Affirmatives with a plan: If I don't understand what the aff does at the end of the round or how it accesses its impacts, I won't vote for it. Make sure you are contextualizing your arguments to the specific round and not just reading generic blocks.
Critical Affirmatives- I am open to critical affirmatives that either defend a relationship to the topic or make offense reasons as to why they don't have to. Be careful about trying to be tricky, it may confuse the other team (idk why you want that) but it could easily backfire and leave me lost as well.
Negative critical arguments: I am willing to vote on any argument as long as it is well explained and has specific links to the aff. Your Kritik should have an alt and impact that is explained by the negative, I am highly unlikely to vote negative if you do not extend the alt. I am not familiar with all critical arguments, but I have had experience with a wide variety; capitalism, ableism, queerness, and anti-blackness are the arguments I am most familiar with. My last year as a debater I primarily read Warren on the negative, so I am most familiar with afro pessimism arguments when it comes to my understanding of anti-blackness. Good alt explanation can resolve any lack of knowledge I have. I am not a fan of post modernist critiques so it is a slightly higher threshold for explanation. The affirmative should always permutate critical arguments, and explain how the permutation functions, as well as how it resolves any residual links to the kritik.
Other negative arguments
CPs— I am fine with counterplans, but prefer they have some sort of solvency advocate as well as a net benefit. The text of the CP (and all perms) should be written out, and distributed to the other team. Affirmative permutations need to be explained, if you go for it, I need to know why I should prefer the perm to the CP and how it gets out of any DA links.
Disadvantages- I really like a DA vs. Case debate, but you need to have a link to the aff. Make sure to explain how the aff links to the disad and then how it triggers the impact(have a clear link story).
Topicality- I feel that it is a very strategic argument to be made in debate. Needs to be well articulated with both sides submitting competing interpretations. T arguments should be extremely structured and organized to make it easier for me to see why this is a voting issue. If you don't have a TVA and a list of specific abuses caused by the affirmatives interpretation, you will have a hard time winning T in front of me.
Speaker Points- You should be clear and able to explain your arguments well. I enjoy jokes and clever analogies that are relevant to the round and arguments being made. I adjust my points based off the level of debate I am judging, so a 28.5 in Novice is not equal to a 28.5 in Open.
Few other things-
- Do not steal prep!!!! I do not take time for sending out the document, but when the team that took prep calls time, everyone else should pause until the speech is handed over and begins.
- Only one person should be speaking per speech, unless it is a performative necessity or an accessibility issue in which case that should be made clear during the debate.
- Flow! If you are not flowing I notice and it probably reflects in the quality of your speeches, in particular the line by line debate.
- My face is pretty expressive, if I look confused or annoyed (during a speech or CX) I probably am and you should be reflexive about that.
- Debate should be fun; it is a game so be nice and courteous to everyone involved.
If you would like something explained further, please feel free to ask me questions before the round or send me an email. If you have any questions about debating in college or about debate in general, feel free to contact me, I am more than happy to help in any way that I can.
Lee Thach Paradigm
personal email: email@example.com
college debates: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debated for CSU Fullerton. 4-time NDT Qualifier. CEDA Octafinalist.
B.A. in Philosophy; working on M.A. in Communication.
Coach Policy Debate for CSU Fullerton & University High School
Coach Lincoln Douglas & Public Forum for CL Education
1. Clarity > Loudness > Speed.
2. Framing > Impact > Solvency. Framing is a prior question. Don’t let me interpret the debate, interpret the debate for me.
3. Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate.
4. Offense vs Defense: Defense supports offense, though it's possible to win on pure defense.
5. Try or Die vs Neg on Presumption: I vote on case turns & solvency takeouts. AFF needs sufficient offense and defense for me to vote on Try or Die.
6. Theory: Inround abuse > potential abuse.
7. Debate is a simulation inside a bigger simulation.
TOPICALITY: As far as I am concerned, there is no resolution until the negative teams reads Topicality. The negative must win that their interpretation resolves their voters, while also proving abuse. The affirmative either has to win a no link we meet, a counterinterp followed up with a we meet, or just straight offense against the negative interpretation. I am more likely to vote on inround abuse over potential abuse. If you go for inround abuse, list out the lost potential for neg ground and why that resolves the voters. If you go for potential abuse, explain what precedents they set.
FRAMEWORK: When the negative runs framework, specify how you orient Fairness & Education. If your FW is about education, then explain why the affirmative is unable to access their own pedagogy, and why your framework resolves their pedagogy better and/or presents a better alternative pedagogy. If your FW is about fairness, explain why the affirmative method is unable to solve their own impacts absent a fair debate, and why your framework precedes Aff impacts and/or is an external impact.
DISADVANTAGES: Start with impact calculation by either outweighing and/or turning the case. Uniqueness sets up the timeframe, links set up probability, and the impact sets up the magnitude.
COUNTERPLANS: Specify how the CP solves the case, a DA, an independent net benefit, or just plain theory. Any net benefit to the CP can constitute as offense against the Permutation.
CASE: Case debate works best when there is comparative analysis of the evidence and a thorough dissection of the aff evidence.
KRITIKS: Framing is key since a Kritik is basically a Linear Disad with an Alt. When creating links, specify whether they are links to the Aff form and/or content. Links to the form should argue why inround discourse matters more than fiat education, and how the alternative provides a competing pedagogy. Links to the content should argue how the alternative provides the necessary material solutions to resolving the neg and aff impacts. If you’re a nihilist and Neg on Presumption is your game, then like, sure.
PLANS WITH EXTINCTION IMPACTS: Many affirmatives underappreciate their extinction impacts. If you successfully win your internal link story for your impact, then prioritize solvency so that you can weigh your impacts against any external impacts. Against other extinction level impacts, make sure to either win your probability and timeframe, or win sufficient amount of defense against the negs extinction level offense. Against structural violence impacts, explain why proximate cause is preferable over root cause, why extinction comes before value to life, and defend the epistemological, pedagogical, and ethical foundations of your affirmative. i might be an "extinction good" hack.
PLANS WITH STRUCTURAL IMPACTS: If you are facing extinction level disadvantages, then it is key that you win your value to life framing, probability/timeframe, and no link & impact defense to help substantiate why you outweigh. If you are facing a kritik, this will likely turn into a method debate about the ethics of engaging with dominant institutions, and why your method best pedagogically and materially effectuates social change.
As a 2A that ran K Affs, the main focus of my research was answering T/FW, and cutting answers to Ks. I have run Intersectionality, Postmodernism, Decolonization, & Afropessimism. Having fallen down that rabbit hole, I have become generally versed in (policy debate's version of) philosophy.
K AFF WITH A PLAN TEXT: Make sure to explain why the rhetoric of the plan is necessary to solve the impacts of the aff. Either the plan is fiated, leading a consequence that is philosophically consistent with the advantage, or the plan is only rhetorical, leading to an effective use of inround discourse (such as satire). The key question is, why was saying “United States Federal Government,” necessary, because it is likely that most kritikal teams will hone their energy into getting state links.
K BEING AFFS: Everything is bad. These affs incorporate structural analysis to diagnosis how oppression manifests metaphysically, materially, ideologically, and/or discursively. This includes Marxism, Settler Colonialism, & Afropessimism affs. Frame how the aff impact is a root cause to the negative impacts, generate offense against the alternative, and show how the perm necessitates the aff as a prior question.
K BECOMING AFF: Truth is bad. These affs include Postmodernism, Intersectionality, & Black Optimism. Adapt to turning the negative links into offense for the aff. Short story being, if you're just here to say truth is bad, then you're relying on your opponent to make truth claims before you can start generating offense.
Samantha Thies Paradigm
I am a former coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I debated for four years as an undergrad at James Madison University. This is my second-year judging.
Yes I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
A complete argument makes a claim that is supported by detailed warrants and has an impact. If you are not completing your argument, I will not be voting on it.
Generally, I’ll lean tech>truth. That being said, a conceded argument is only true when the entire argument – claim, warrant, impact – is extended. That doesn’t mean you have to invest lots of time there, but saying “it was dropped!” is not enough for me.
I’m rather offense/defense oriented, although I think I could be persuaded to vote on presumption with a lot of investment in that argument during the debate. I will stick to what I have on the flow, so you can win tech-y line-by-line with me, or you can win that over-arching arguments effect other parts of the debate. Whatever the case is, you’re gonna need at least one very good piece of offense to win my ballot.
Judge instructions are super important, especially in the final rebuttals. You should be telling me how the pieces of the debate fit together, and why that means you win. This includes impact calc and how I should evaluate impacts. Do this and you’ve won my ballot, and basically written my RFD for me.
Good analytic arguments can beat trash cards any day.
The more specific a permutation is on a CP or K, the better chance you have of winning it; explain the perm in the context of your plan or aff and give examples of how it could work. I’m a sucker for smart and well-thought-out perms, but that also means I have a pretty high standard of analysis required to vote on one.
If you really want me to read a specific piece of evidence, you should flag that to me in the debate. I think reading all the round's evidence after the debate and re-interpreting the args through warrants that were never actually made is a terrible form of judge intervention. I will rely on the debater’s own explanation of their evidence. It is the other team’s responsibility to point out mis-characterizations or contested points in their opponents’ evidence. If the comparison and analysis on opposing interpretations of a card is comparable on both sides, then I will read the evidence and make my decision from there.
It will likely benefit you to slow down in front of me; I have hearing damage and will very likely miss your 10 second analytic argument.
Specific Notes on Positions:
Topicality/Framework – I love T debates; I was in mostly T debates while I was an undergrad and defended it on both sides. Affs should have a relationship to the topic. What that relationship looks like is up for debate. Affs with plans are cool and should be able to defend why their plan is good and fits within the topic. More teams should read T against cheating policy/plan affs! Affs without plans are cool and should be able to defend why their approach to debate is good and fits within the topic.
Is fairness an impact? Is education an impact? What should I prioritize, and why? That’s all debatable, you tell me!
TVA’s are necessary if you want to win, and if there’s no TVA to the aff you should be explicit about why. I view TVA’s a lot like CP’s that solve the offense on T from the aff and has a net benefit (ie. the DA’s you have to their interp).
Impact comparison wins T debates! Uniqueness matters in T debate! To quote Lindsey Shook, “inevitability and uniqueness matter in debates about the impacts to topicality and I take those questions seriously and find they are often where decisions begin for me.”
I think the distinction made between framework and T is arbitrary, so your “framework” argument should still tell me what part of the resolution the aff violates. Stating that the aff doesn’t have a plan and should therefore lose is not an explanation of how they failed to fulfill the standard set by the resolution and will not be a winning argument in front of me.
T debates get so messy so quick, so kiss your overviews goodbye! Do your work on the line-by-line. If you can clean up my flow in a messy round you will get bonus speaker points for being fantastic!
DAs – I have not watched any policy debates on this topic. I like DA debates and am fine if you want to read one, but I probably have not have seen your DA before; keep that in mind when you're trying to explain it to me. Politics DAs annoy me but I can vote for them. I will just be sad about it.
CPs – I think this is where debaters should do more work in front of me. I won’t be familiar with your specific advantage CP or 100000 plank CP, so it’s really important to clearly explain the mechanism or I will be totally lost. Judge direction is critical here, tell me how I should view the CP, how it resolves the aff and net benefit, and how the pieces fit together in the entire debate.
CPs should be textually and functionally competitive and should have a solvency advocate.
Ks/Advocacies – I am probably familiar with most of the lit, but I will certainly not fill in gaps of explanation for you. A full explanation of your theory/method and how it resolves/solves/disproves/excludes weighing the aff is key to my ballot.
Stop reading 5-minute overviews! Stop reading overviews period! A lot of the stuff in an overview actually answers arguments on the line-by-line, so please make my flow happy and keep them together.
I’m not really of the “you link you lose” mentality; K debaters should explain how their alt resolves the link to the aff or give me a reason to evaluate the round otherwise. Also, Ks still have impacts – talk about them (especially the aff).
Specificity is pretty important to me with the K. Generic state bad K links are just as boring and unpersuasive as generic 2AC realism/consequences answers. Argument interaction and evidence comparison are underutilized by teams answering and going for the K.
Theory – I do not have strong ideological biases around common theory arguments, so these are winnable in front of me if it is actually impacted properly. I do think multi-plank CPs are rude, but I would still vote for one.
Throw out your trash blocks and have a conversation about what you think good, competitive and robust debates should look like and why. Be responsive to the other teams warrants – that means actually listening and not copy-pasting your block. Please slow down speeding through your pre-written answers!!
If theory is something you want me to vote on, you will have to make a significant time investment in it; I have a pretty high standard for debaters to beat “reject the arg not the team”. If you want to use theory/in-round abuse/other theoretical shit the other team did as a reason why you get to do something theoretically sketchy, you're probably a smart debater.
Speaker Points – I’m still developing a method for assigning speaker points. I will try to follow the outline below as closely as possible, but it will be my general guide based on what I think the community norms are.
26.9 or lower: Something bad happened!
27-27.5: Major structural mistakes were made in-round and/or debaters were generally rude/unpleasant.
27.6-28.6: Average to above average understanding of the arguments and round. Some minor mistakes were made and/or debaters had trouble putting the entire round together.
28.7-29.2: Speeches were great, few errors were made, and/or the debaters deserve to be in out-rounds.
29-29.2: This team should be in late out-rounds or win the tournament.
29.3-30: One of the best speeches I have ever seen.
Other things that influence speaks include: clarity, (good) use of humor or wit, knowledge and mastery of history or examples pertaining to ones argument, stealing prep, interrupting speeches, dominating ones partner during their speeches or crossex, and overall command of crossex, and taking 1000000 years to send an email or continue with a debate.
I will try to adjust speaks for the division I’m in - so I will not have the same standard for a 28.5 speech in varsity that I would for a 28.5 speech in novice.
Please email me with any other inquires not addressed above.
Ryan Wash Paradigm
Do not attempt to appease me. I do not want you to debate to me but rather persuade me to believe you. Stay true to your argument set and do what got you here. That being said, who cares what I personally believe, this is your activity. Below is my process for making a decision in a debate:
Who should I be when evaluating the debate?
What is the main question/issue of the debate?
Who best answered/addressed that question/issue? Note: The characteristics of best should be determined by you and not me.
Are their reasons why their approach is dangerous or insufficient that overwhelms its positive potential.
Speaker Points: I give points based on how clear, efficient and engaging you are. What happened to debaters being able to be serious, funny, personable and entertaining simultaneously? You will be awarded of quality speaking even if you do not win the debate.
Victoria Yonter Paradigm
- 4 years of HS debate in Missouri (policy, LD, Congress, IEs)
- 4 years of NDT-CEDA debate at the University of Georgia (2014-2018)
- Assistant debate coach at the University of Southern California (2018-current)
- Now I work for the Chicago UDL
Please put me on the email chain and email any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Clarity > speed: Clarity helps everyone.
2. Neg positions: I find myself voting more often on the "top part" of any neg position. Explain how the plan causes the DA, how the CP solves the case (and how it works!), and how the K links to the aff and how the world of the alt functions. Similarly, I prefer CPs with solvency advocates (and without a single card they are probably unpredictable). I love when the K or DA turns the case and solves X impact. If you don't explain the link to the case and how you get to the impact, it doesn't matter if you're winning impact calculus.
3. K affs: Despite my tendency to read plans as a debater, if you win the warrants of why it needs to be part of debate/debate topic, then I'll vote on it. As a coach, I read far more critical literature now than I did as a debater.
4. Warrants: Don't highlight to a point where your card has no warrants. Extend warrants, not just tags. If you keep referring to a specific piece of evidence or say "read this card," I will hold you to what it says, good or bad. Hopefully it makes the claims you tell me it does.
High School LD Specific:
Values: I competed in a very traditional form of LD in high school. I view values and value criterions similarly to framing arguments in policy debate. If you win how I should evaluate the debate and that you do the best job of winning under that interpretation, then I'll happily vote for you.
Ballot Writing: LD speeches are short, but doing a little bit of "ballot writing" (what you want me to say in my reason for decision) would go a long way.
Random Notes/Pet Peeves:
1. Don't be rude in cross-x. If your opponent is not answering your questions well in cross-x either they are trying to be obnoxious or you are not asking good questions. Too often, it's the latter.
2. Questions about what your opponent read belong in cross-x or prep time. You should be flowing.
3. I am Turkish and while I don't care what you say about the government, please pronounce ErdoÄŸan's name correctly. It's a "soft g" so you shouldn't really pronounce the g. More info (Wikipedia)
4. My degrees are in math and economics. But I strive to judged based on a median knowledge and not let me own preconceptions factor into my decision (it will factor into my facial expressions though). I lean tech over truth (but am not firmly so), but if you think you're out-teching someone but aren't on the right side of truth, a quick justification of tech over truth would be smart.
5. I'm an expressive judge. I've found this helps debaters feel confident that I'm following and add clarity to arguments that I'm not following.
6. My random discussions during dead time that are unrelated to the round are for a few reasons: it makes rounds less hostile and toxic, to minimize ability to steal prep, and as someone with speech and hearing disabilities I care about the "baseline" natural speaking ability of all debaters I judge and try to accurately judge (especially to give speaker points) in a way that is conscious of the ableism that exists in the debate space.